Rodgers says Boyata's situation is 'sad'

Pedro Chirivella of Liverpool during the International Champions Cup 2018 match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Met Life Stadium

Brendan Rodgers addresses Celtic exit rumours

Now attention is likely to switch to Lafferty's future if, as expected, Rangers return with an enhanced bid to take the Northern Ireland global back for a second spell at Ibrox and if, as is equally likely, Hearts increase the asking price, citing his fourth goal in two seasons against Celtic as justification.

"Previously there was interest from Fulham, Olympiakos and Fenerbahce", Lichtenstein said.

"It's unusual, because on the other hand, the club apparently does not have the money to make Dedryck a dignified new contract proposal". "The plan is for him to stay here and I don't see that changing".

Celtic boss Rodgers admitted at the weekend that the situation was "difficult" for 27-year-old Boyata.

"Dedryck's agent turned up [on Friday] at the training ground", said Rodgers.

'He wanted to speak to me at 10 o'clock.

Hearts' Kyle Lafferty celebrates at full time.

Celtic face Greek side AEK Athens in the second leg of their third qualifying round match, and with the pair tied at 1-1 after the first leg, then Rodgers will want his men to quickly focus their minds on maintaining their Champions League focus, and pick up a huge win in Europe.

AEK Athens boss Marinos Ouzounidis played down Ajer's absence, saying: "They also have Jack Hendry and Jozo Simunovic and they both played in some of Celtic's major wins previous year, so they are great players with great qualities. Today it's all about Hearts and we've got three points and that's what I'm focusing on".

"Given the quality of the squad we have, we are more than capable of scoring goals". Of course it is disappointing, some of the comments, but we will deal with it internally.

Insisting reports of a rift between manager Brendan Rodgers and the Celtic board have had no bearing on the dressing room, the £1.5million signing from Dundee added: 'I haven't heard anything about and I'm sure the lads aren't taking any notice of it either. This season is the last of his contract.

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