BOYATA MISSING AGAIN

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DEDRYCK BOYATA  did NOT train with the Celtic first team squad yesterday as they prepared for the League Cup opener against Partick Thistle at Firhill tomorrow.

The 27-year-old central defender insisted he was unfit to play in the 2-1 loss to AEK Athens on Tuesday in the Greek capital while manager Brendan Rodgers declared his player completely okay for the crucial encounter.

The Parkhead side’s Champions League ambitions and the possibility of a play-off victory over the Hungarians of Vidi which would have brought a £40million windfall were obliterated in Athens.

Boyata, who has not played since turning out for Belgium against England in the World Cup Finals on June 28, had been expected back for last weekend’s Premiership encounter against Hearts at Tynecastle.

However, the ex-Manchester City centre-half, who still has 10 months to run on his contract, pulled out with a mystery back injury.

His future is in the balance amid reports his agents jetted into Glasgow yesterday for talks with key members of the Parkhead board.

Both parties are searching for a solution to the unwarranted problem, but it looks increasingly as though Boyata’s time at the champions is up.

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