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Brendan Rodgers hopeful of convincing Dedryck Boyata to stay at Celtic, Steven Gerrard blasts fan who threw coin at striker and Brendan Rodgers in frank admission about Europe

Rodgers hopeful of Boyata deal

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers. Picture: SNS Group

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers. Picture: SNS Group

Brendan Rodgers hasn’t given up hope of Dedryck Boyata penning a new deal with the Scottish champions.

The Belgian international is in the final year of his deal and can talk to interested clubs from January, before leaving in the summer for free. But Rodgers isn’t resigned to losing the 27-year-old.

Rodgers said: “There is always a possibility [of Boyata staying], but we just have to see. It is between him and the club.” (The Sun)

Gerrard: Ban Alfredo coin thug

Steven Gerrard has called for life bans for fans caught throwing objects after Alfredo Morelos appeared to be hit by a coin during Rangers’ 2-0 win at St Mirren just days after Hibs boss Neil Lennon was targeted in the Edinburgh derby.

The Rangers manager said: “We don’t want to see things getting thrown on to the pitch. It’s not right, it’s not acceptable in any sport. Is it going to have to take someone’s eye to come out or someone to be badly hurt from an object for us to make it stop? These people shouldn’t be at a football match. You just ban them forever. It’s that simple. Then it will stop. If it gets ignored then it will go on and on.” (The Scotsman)

Celtic ‘not fully equipped for Europe’ - Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers has conceded that Celtic were not fully equipped for competing in Europe this season, as he admitted: “We have to be at our max in every single facet just to have a chance.”

Rodgers said: “All the difficulties we had in the summer made it tough. We still want to be a Champions League club. But to do that, you need to build.

“That’s the thing that didn’t happen. We would have loved to keep that group of players and add a few bits of quality. But we lost big quality. You try to replace that but if you can’t, you’re at a different starting point.” (The Sun)

Shinnie: Being eighth is weird

Graeme Shinnie admits it’s weird seeing Aberdeen start the weekend in the bottom half of the Premiership but the Pittodrie club’s captain expects normal service to be resumed by the time the next one rolls around.

Since making the move from Inverness Caledonian Thistle three years ago the midfielder has become accustomed to being part of a side who have established themselves as Celtic’s main rivals in the league.​

Now they head for Rugby Park at lunchtime in eighth place with the lowest points tally after the first ten league games of any of the six seasons since Derek McInnes replaced Craig Brown as manager.​

Shinnie said: “We came off the park against Hamilton having won 3-0 and someone said to me ‘we’re still in eighth place’. When you hear that it sounds strange and I don’t think I’ve ever been in eighth place since I got here.​​” (The Scotsman)

Levein blames self for Celtic mauling

Craig Levein took full responsibility for Hearts’ 5-0 drubbing at Celtic Park, branding himself an “idiot” and an “ass” for the tactics he adopted. The Hearts manager was unsparingly self-critical as he reflected on the defeat which cuts his team’s lead at the top to one point, having played a game more than second-placed Celtic. “The manager’s an idiot,” said Levein. “I thought because of all the high-profile games we’ve played recently that our energy levels were starting to wane, so I made a decision to sit in and hit Celtic on the counter-attack but, God, I got that one wrong, eh? We will just consign this one to the dustbin. I am an ass for playing this way today.” (The Scotsman)

Celtic star ‘could play for Bayern Munich’

Callum McGregor has the talent and technical ability to be a hit in the Bundesliga, according to one former player.

Mark Fotheringham has earmarked the Scotland international as the key cog in the Celtic team, adding: “Callum’s the one player in the Celtic squad who could play for Bayern Munich — I honestly rate him that highly.

“There will be a lot of top German clubs watching him against Leipzig. Nothing about Callum’s future would surprise me. I think he’s got a massive move in him, to a club like Bayern or one of the English Premiership teams.” (The Sun)