According to a recent report from The Daily Mail, Dedryck Boyata is refusing to play for Celtic after seeing a possible summer move break down. The 27-year-old has been at Parkhead since 2015 after ending a nine-year association with Premier League champions Manchester City, and his fine efforts for both club and indeed country prompted interest from Fulham during the close season, only for the Bhoys to turn down their approaches.
And reports suggest that the centre back will refuse to play for the Scottish giants, which leaves manager Brendan Rodgers in something of a predicament, a predicament he could seek to solve by luring linked-away Micah Richards to Celtic Park.
Ultimately, the recent developments surrounding Boyata looks set to leave manager Rodgers somewhat short in the centre back department, this all heading into the second leg of their Champions League third qualifying round clash against AEK Athens in Greece tomorrow.
Failure to get through that tie, currently level at 1-1, will leave several serious questions being levelled at the club, as that would put a huge dent in their ambitions for the season, which is why these recent developments are particularly damaging.
And while solving this predicament may not help ahead of Tuesday’s clash, it could help further in the long term, and reports suggest that Aston Villa’s Richards could be set to be released from the Championship club, in news which should be of interest to Celtic boss Rodgers.
The former England international has endured a testing time at Villa Park since his move there back in 2015, with the defender, valued at £1.35 million by Transfermarkt, mustering just 31 senior appearances for the club in the last three years.
Yet one simply mustn’t forget that, prior to his ill-fated spell at Villa Park, the 30-year-old enjoyed an excellent stint at Manchester City in appearing 246 times for the Citizens and helping them to the Premier League title back in 2012, as well as earning 13 England caps.
Thus, there is clearly a very accomplished defender in Richards and one that could be a big asset to Rodgers going forward, and with Villa chief Steve Bruce reportedly seeking to get rid of the 30-year-old this summer, Celtic must be ready to pounce.
Yes, his time at Villa has been nothing short of disastrous, but a fresh start somewhere else could be exactly what Richards needs to reignite his career, a career which has seen him play at the top level for both club and country.
Thus, Rodgers must seek to solve the possible Boyata predicament by moving for Villa’s Richards, who himself could be available in the near future.
Celtic fans… what do you think? Let us know!