DEDRYCK BOYATA could miss Celtic’s crucial double-header against Hearts this afternoon and AEK Athens on Tuesday.

The Belgian central defender was lined up to play his first game of the season for the Hoops at Tynecastle this afternoon, but it looks likely he will be sidelined with a back injury.

Boyata is reported to have missed training yesterday when he was expected to prepare for an appearance following his return from the World Cup Finals in Russia in the summer.

The classy back-four operator played in the first three group games for his nation before making way for skipper Vincent Kompany.

He had been pencilled in for his comeback against Craig Levein’s team, but there is now genuine doubts with the player complaining of back problems.

Boyata’s absence would be a massive blow for Brendan Rodgers just days before the crucial Champions League qualifier in Athens after the 1-1 midweek draw in Glasgow.

The Parkhead boss is juggling with his back four options as he runs out of defenders with Kristoffer Ajer already ruled out of the clash against AEK through suspension.

Marvin Compper and Cristian Gamboa also missed training yesterday while comeback Bhoy Emilio Izaguirre, who agreed a one-year deal yesterday, is not match fit.

There are also reports from Spain that Sevilla are lining up a bid for Boyata, 27, who is out of contract next summer.

The champions knocked back a £9million offer for the player from Fulham before the English transfer closed on Thursday.

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