With a crucial Champions League qualifier on the horizon, Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers could really have done without an injury-induced headache.
According to the Daily Record, Dedryck Boyata is now a doubt for the clash with Linfield next Friday after limping out of a friendly stalemate with Slavia Prague. As a result, the Belgian centre-back’s potential absence has highlighted a potential weak link in the Celtic squad.
Boyata was a huge success in the second half of last season
With the future of Kolo Toure as yet unconfirmed, Erik Sviatchenko and Jozo Simunovic will travel to Ireland as the club’s only fit, senior central defenders. While reports have heavily linked Celtic with new wingers and even reinforcements at left-back, it’s the heart of the backline where Rodgers must strengthen this summer.
Therefore, perhaps this should encourage Celtic to step up their interest in highly-rated Lens centre-back Jean Kevin Duverne. The Express claimed late last month that the Bhoys are tracking the 19-year-old, who idolises Sergio Ramos and is the latest defensive star to emerge in France.
However, with Duverne turning heads and fast, Celtic cannot afford to be complacent. L’Equipe claims that Lille, who have a wealthy new owner in Gerard Lopez and will be managed by cult coach Marcelo Bielsa next season, are also interested.
And news that Boyata could be on the sidelines for the foreseeable future should perhaps shock Celtic into life and encourage them to make a move before Duverne is spirited away by a rival suitor.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers may need a new centre-back