Dedryck Boyata looks very likely to leave Celtic when his contract expires this summer.
The Belgian defender’s contract ending at the end of this season has been a big talking point over the last 12 months.
He started this season out of the Hoops team after appearing to fall out with Brendan Rodgers and the club over his future.Embed from Getty Images
After starring for Belgium at the World Cup, a number of clubs were interested in signing Boyata, but Celtic wouldn’t let him go.
So now it’s likely Boyata will get his move away this summer, with Hertha Berlin believed to be the frontrunners for his signature.
With the former Manchester City man set to be away from Celtic next season, the club will be busy looking at replacements.
And here are five who could interest:
Gary CahillEmbed from Getty Images
Cahill is one of the most experienced players who will hit the free agency market this summer and Celtic would be doing very well if they could persuade him to move north. He’s won two league titles, a FA Cup, a League Cup, the Europa League and the Champions League during his eight seasons with Chelsea, but he’s 33 and has found it hard to get regular games under Maurizio Sarri this season. Celtic may see him as a Kolo Toure type signing, with the former Ivory Coast defender proving to be a very good addition during Brendan Rodgers’ first season in charge of the Hoops. Cahill’s high wages may be the biggest issue here, but if Celtic can put together an attractive financial package then the English defender might be interested.
Julian ChabotEmbed from Getty Images
At 21, Chabot is at the perfect age to make his big move across the continent. He currently turns out at Groningen and has helped them to ninth in the Eredivisie at this point of the season – just below the Europa League playoff places. Groningen have one of the best defensive records in Holland and Chabot has been a big part of that since moving from Sparta Rotterdam last year. Does anyone remember the last Groningen defender to make the move to Celtic? We do – it was Virgil van Dijk. Chabot may look at the Dutchman’s career path and think he could do similar.
Another player impressing in Europe is 22-year-old Serbian defender Jovanovic. He’s represented Serbia all the way up to Under 21 level and will feel some consistent form at a high level can get him into the full national team. He’s currently getting that at Bordeaux, but has been in and out of favour at times and might feel a move away makes sense. For Celtic, they’d be getting a strong centre back who is very capable with the ball at his feet – fitting with what they currently get with Boyata. You’d think Jovanovic could be available at a good price too this summer.
Phil JagielkaEmbed from Getty Images
This is similar to the Cahill suggestion as Jagielka is also out of his Everton contract at the end of the season. However, the Englishman is 36 and closer to the end of his career than Cahill is. Still, Jagielka has played at times under Marco Silva this season and has looked good too. Kristoffer Ajer is the long term option at centre back for Celtic, but an experienced partner could do him the world of good. Jagielka definitely fits that bill.
Scott McKennaEmbed from Getty Images
This shouldn’t come as a surprise given the regular links Celtic have had to McKenna over the last year. They reportedly failed with a move for him in the summer, but a year on they might have more joy. McKenna now has 50 games under his belt for Aberdeen and is a Scotland international too – so there’s only so long the Dons can hold on to him before some serious money is offered for his services. In McKenna, Celtic would be getting a defender with a lot of potential who has already shown how good he is in Scotland and has coped admirably for the national team. This would be a signing with minimal risk.
Celtic fans – who would you sign?