Boy­ata des­per­ate to stay at Celtic despite in­ter­est

The Herald - Herald Sport - - LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP -

Dedryck Boy­ata has in­formed Bren­dan Rodgers he wants to stay at Celtic and fight for a regular first-team place despite in­ter­est from An­der­lecht in his home­land.

Boy­ata scored a sec­ond­half win­ner against St John­stone at Park­head on Wed­nes­day night to en­sure the Glas­gow club stretched their un­beaten do­mes­tic run to 26 games and matched the record set by the Lis­bon Lions in the 1966/67 sea­son.

The 26-year-old had only made one ap­pear­ance for Rodgers’ side be­fore this month and had ap­peared set to leave in the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow.

Jozo Simunovic, Erik Svi­atchenko and Kolo Toure were all in front of the for­mer Manch­ester City man in the peck­ing or­der and Mikael Lustig had also utilised as a makeshift cen­tre half.

But he has now helped Celtic keep clean sheets in their last two games against Al­bion Rovers in the Scot­tish Cup and St John­stone.

“I am a Celtic player,” Boy­ata said. “I don’t re­ally think of my fu­ture be­cause I’m a Celtic player. There is noth­ing else to say.

“I am not go­ing to lie to you, it has been a very dif­fi­cult time for me since the be­gin­ning of the sea­son. But I have been work­ing hard and wait­ing for this kind of mo­ment. I am very happy with what has hap­pened. I have come far.

Simunovic ap­peared set to leave Celtic for Serie A club Torino in Au­gust, but the Croat’s move to Italy fell through when the two clubs failed to agree a fee.

The 22-year-old has since gone on to es­tab­lish him­self in Rodgers’ side and that has given Boy­ata hope.

“There was spec­u­la­tion about Jozo leav­ing, but now he is work­ing hard and play­ing well. I am try­ing to get as many chances as I can.”

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