BRENDAN RODGERS has prepared Celtic fans for the departure of Dedryck Boyata after the Belgium International has come back into the squad and played a blinder.

The centre-back took heavy criticism during the summer window, and rightly so for the way he and his agent tried to push a move away from Celtic Park.

The unprofessional manner in which Boyata conducted his business was unacceptable.

Brendan Rodgers refused to grant the player his move with a £7million deal on the table and it’s proven to be somewhat of a masterstroke.

While Dembele got his move for petulance, the Celtic manager spoke of knowing when he can pull a situation back and he knew he could do that with Boyata.

BUT the Irishman isn’t naive, and as the player gets set to enter the last six months of his deal this January, Rodgers admits his time at Celtic is coming to an end.

“Dedryck will leave at some point. You look at him now and you see he is really defined now as a player who has gained great confidence the last two years, the last 18 months in particular.

“Going to the World Cup, he has proven there at a good level that he can play with world class players.

“He is entering into his years at 28 where he can show it. I have always said when he is concentrated that he is a top class player.”

Celtic must be doing everything in their power to bring in new defenders this January to cope with losing the Belgian for nothing in the summer.

In the meantime, Boyata has been in top form, and long may it continue. If he is set to leave, then Celtic are benefitting from a player who knows he’s in the shop window.