Brendan Rodgers slams Celtic defending in AEK Athens loss

But Rodgers made it clear the Belgian, who wants to leave Celtic, was left at home because the manager only wanted players who are fully committed to the team.

But it comes amid increasing uncertainty about his future, with Boyata's agent Jacques Lichtenstein previously claiming the Hoops had broken promises to his client who was the subject of a failed £9m bid.

When 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".

Responding to suggestions he had not travelled to Greece because of a "convenient" injury, Boyata posted a video showing treatment to his back and thigh that he described as a "muscular work session to come back even stronger on the pitch".

Celtic will not be playing in the Champions League group stages this season after losing to AEK Athens 2-1 tonight. His upturn in form earned him a World Cup call-up for Belgium and he played against England in a group stage fixture in the absence of Vincent Kompany.


"Last Thursday, I hurt myself when I slipped in training and I held my leg immediately". Prior to the game former player and coach John Collins warned a loss against AEK would do significant damage to the club's year: "It's all over for the season".

Celtic did not bring their A game.

"My concentration really until I get back is only with the players that are here".

"I think they will sell him, but they have refused Fulham, so the English market is closed and the only market now is the Continent".

Boyata, 27, joined Celtic from Manchester City in 2015.


Popular

CONNECT