Agent says Dedryck Boyata 'won't risk future' by playing for Celtic

Celtic Manager Brendan Rodgers after defeat during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Tynecastle Stadium Edinburgh. PRESS ASSOCIATION

Celtic Manager Brendan Rodgers after defeat during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Tynecastle Stadium Edinburgh. PRESS ASSOCIATION

"Entering the last 10 months of his contract, everyone understands that he can not put his career at risk by playing even slightly injured or at 95 per cent", said Lichtenstein.

"But it is something we relish, something that we have always done".

Asked how much of a distraction the Boyata issue had been, Rodgers said at the pre-match press conference in Athens: "More sad than a distraction". Hearts responded to the capacity crowd, the new playing surface and the visit of the champions with a combative performance that saw them prevail courtesy of Lafferty's eye-catching contribution, but they also incurred five cautions - two of them to their full-backs, Michael Smith and Ben Garuccio - and will have to be alert to the possibility of serious depletion of their back line. "The day before the game the training ground is closed".

"Given the quality of the squad we have, we are more than capable of scoring goals".

Bullish over Celtic's chances in the Olympic Stadium despite the loss of an away goal in Glasgow, Hendry added: 'If we play as we did at home we shouldn't have any problems.

"I'm not sure", he said.




The Scottish champions would be back in the market for a centre-back if the move goes through, having lost a key player. "I think it is the best decision".

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". Of course it is disappointing, some of the comments, but we will deal with it internally.

Celtic Manager Brendan Rodgers. Rodgers, without suspended defender Kristoffer Ajer, will not risk starting the French striker.

Sidelined with a hamstring complaint since the home game with Alashkert four weeks ago, Dembele had previously been ruled out of both legs against the Greek champions.

"We have done that in the last couple of seasons and the main reason, from a football perspective, is to compete at the highest level of the game".

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