Celtic's Dedryck Boyata once came close to joining Anderlecht

Dedryck Boyata's parents have revealed the defender might have been lining up for Anderlecht tonight rather than Celtic.

Dedryck Boyata recently returned to the Celtic side after a period out through injury. Picture: SNS
Dedryck Boyata recently returned to the Celtic side after a period out through injury. Picture: SNS

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Belgium international Boyata was born in Brussels. He returns to the capital city as Hoops aim to get their Champions League quest underway at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium.

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The centre-back had trials with Anderlecht, then was denied another chance to impress them before landing a move to Manchester City aged 16.

Boyata, 26, swapped the Etihad Stadium for Parkhead in 2015. He impressed in Saturday’s 2-0 Old Firm win at Ibrox.

The defender’s mum Brigitte said: “When Dedryck was little he really wanted to join Anderlecht. Sadly he was unable to do so.”

Dad Bienvenu revealed: “He had trials with Anderlecht, but they did not keep him. Later on they wanted to bring him back, but the clubs he then played for did not want to let him go.

“He went on to play for FC Brussels. Chelsea, Manchester City and United wanted to sign him, and City were the first to come in for him.

“Dedryck said he did not want to go over. He feared he would not get his place back with Brussels, and thought there was no point in going to City as they wouldn’t take him.

“He didn’t want me to speak with City’s people. But I ended up doing so, and I took him over to England.”

Bienvenu also revealed how his son cheated death - when he kicked out a window of their tower block as an angry schoolboy.

Boyata Sr recalled: “One day I forbade Dedryck from going to football training, and went out with my wife.

“We lived on the fourth floor. We were walking to our car when we heard a huge noise.

“Dedryck was in a rage, and he put his foot through a window. It was double-glazed, but he could have fallen through it. I was terrified.”