In the summer, Celtic had a fight on their hands keeping Belgian defender Dedryck Boyata at the club. Plenty of teams were impressed with his performances for his nation at the World Cup in Russia. One such team was Fulham. As reported by the London Evening Standard, Fulham had a £9 million bid rejected for the player, who at one point was roundly booed by his own fans due to his clear desire to move on.
In the end, Boyata stayed as Celtic stayed strong on their stance over his availability.
Based on his display against Rangers at the weekend it is remarkable Celtic did not take that deal.
Boyata was woeful against the Old Firm rivals, who dominated from start to finish in a 1-0 win at Ibrox. Alfredo Morelos had Boyata toiling for much of the game and he could not handle the high-intensity play of the Colombian or the pressing from Steven Gerrard’s Rangers side.
The Belgian looked cumbersome, sluggish and nowhere near a £9 million central defender.
His contract at Celtic runs out in the summer and he will be free to discuss a move with clubs outside Scotland from January. Celtic now run the risk of losing him for free.
They should have taken the £9 million and ran with it.