Boyata holds all the cards, Lazio playing a blinder

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YESTERDAY we noted that Lazio appeared to be tapping up Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata via the Italian press, with reports there suggesting that the Rome based club are prepared to pay the Belgian defender £1.3million per year after tax on a four year deal.

Previously news emerged that Lazio would be prepared to pay Celtic £7million for the player Ronny Deila signed from Manchester City for £1million.

Today after a small feature in a red top that reveals that Celtic have heard nothing officially from Lazio and that the Scottish Champions are preparing to battle to keep the Belgian at the club, a few Celtic sites have picked up on this and carried stories of their own along similar lines.

However to be clear on the situation, Celtic offered the player a new deal before the season ended and Boyata said that he was looking to sign this when he returned from The World Cup (or holiday if he never made the final cut).

He did make it to Russia and better still he has played in the two Belgium games to date and depending on the fitness situation with Vincent Company, he could also face England in the group decider. Effectively he could even go on and win a World Cup medal – stranger things have happened!

This gives Boyata maximum profile and he will have been listening to his agent prior to last season ending. The advice he would have been given would have been to wait to see if he gets selected for the World Cup squad and if he gets there and gets game time then he will be in the biggest shop window that there is in football. That’s just his agent doing his job.

With one year left of his Celtic deal, the agent knows – the player knows – Celtic know – any other club (like Lazio knows – that should Boyata stall on signing his new deal then Celtic will sell him rather than let him run down the last year of his current deal before leaving on a Bosman.

So the power to decide what is going to happen is with Boyata alone.

Stuart Armstrong’s agent had a year to put together a deal that would take his client from Celtic to the Premier League and there is a huge jump in earnings for the player involved in this move. A job well done as far as the agent is concerned.

Lazio have cleverly got out the details of the deal, what is in it for Celtic (£7million) and what is in it for Boyata (£1.3million a year after tax).

Celtic’s offer has been presented to Boyata and his agent before last season ended and now it is going to be a matter of the player deciding to sign or not to sign.

If he says to Celtic that he is not going to sign the contract that is on the table then he will be sold, it is as simple as that.

And after he tells Celtic he’s not signing, the contact from Lazio – or any other club that has been speaking to his agent – will happen pretty much immediately.

Celtic having heard nothing from Lazio at this stage is therefore hardly a surprise. We’ll all just have to wait and see what Boyata decides to do.

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