BRENDAN RODGERS has confirmed Celtic have knocked back a firm offer from Fulham for Dedryck Boyata.

The Belgian World Cup defender,  who has 12 months left on his contract, was wanted by the newly-promoted Londoners.

It had been reported the Craven Cottage outfit were ready to spend £9million on the 27-year-old centre-half.

Rodgers said: “Yes, we have had a few enquiries and there was a confirmed bid by Fulham for him.

“He is a player we don’t want to lose. We know he is in the last year of his deal.

“He has been a fantastic player for me in my time here, he had an excellent World Cup when he played.

“He is clearly a player of value and, at this point in time for us, he is very important and the club rejected that.”

Boyata has not played for Celtic this season after being involved in the Russsian Finals where he played in the three group ties.

The Hoops gaffer also made the point: “It would be very difficult for us to replace him at this late stage”.

The former Manchester City player, who cost £1million when Ronny Deila bought him in the summer of 2015, has yet to appear for Celtic this season.

Rodgers is currently finalising plans for tomorrow night’s Champions League third round qualifier against AEK Athens at Parkhead.

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