The Sunday Post (Inverness)
Greeks set sights on a January swoop for Boyata
Olympiacos are pondering a second move for Celtic’s World Cup star Dedryck Boyata.
The Greek club had a £7-million bid for the Belgian star rejected in the summer.
It was a move which, when combined with similar rebuffs for Fulham and Fenerbache, led to a dispute between club and player.
So much so, that Boyata didn’t travel with the Hoops to Greece for the crucial Champions League play off against AEK Athens. And while things have since been smoothed over, there remains a huge question mark over the 28-year-old’s future.
His contract is up at the end of the season and with so little time on the deal remaining, logic would suggest Celtic either have to get him tied up soon or cash-in during January when he still has value.
It is a situation which Boyata, an impressive performer for Belgium in the World Cup, is only too aware of and, indeed, has been having some fun with. On Tuesday evening he had Hoops fans priming themselves for good news when putting a cryptic post on his Instagram page. He showed a contract on his desk before aiming his phone in the direction of what was on the television.
Quizzed on it, Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers was also in playful mood, replying deadpan that Boyata had signed a new fiveyear-deal, before bursting into a broad smile and admitting he was joking.
Should Celtic fail to persuade the Belgian his long-term future lies at Celtic Park, they are ready to go back in again with cash on the table.
While it is likely they’ll face competition for his signature, it will not be from Lazio, one of his former admirers.
The Roman club have decided their priority now lies in other areas.
Adding spice to the mix is the fact that Celtic have been linked with a move for a soon-to-be-out-of-contract centre-half. Samir Memisevic, a Bosnia-herzegovina internationalist, who plays with Dutch club Groningen, has gone on the record to state there has been contact from the Hoops.
The 25-year-old, though, continued that there had been nothing concrete yet and added also that he expected he would have other options open to him.
Boyata is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury which will rule him out of the Europa League tie against Salzburg on Thursday night.
Manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to get him back for the derby against Rangers on December 29 but, if not, he may have played his last game for Celtic.