Celtic have Denayer replacement waiting at Manchester City

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Voted Scottish Professional Football League Young Player of the Month for March, Jason Denayer has been one of the star performers for Celtic this season after joining the Parkhead outfit from Manchester City on loan.

A mainstay of the Hoops side that is closing in on a domestic treble, the 19-year-old has played 36 times for the Bhoys already scoring six goals along the way – a solid return for a defender.

But any hopes Ronny Deila and Celtic fans may have had of keeping hold of Denayer beyond the end of the season could be dashed if Manchester City opt to give the Belgian youngster a run out in the Premier League.

The Sky Blues’ defensive woes have been well-documented this season with Eliaquim Mangala failing to live up to his price tag and Vincent Kompany enduring his worst season to date at the Etihad.

It could all clear the way for Denayer, for so long a bright prospect within the City academy setup, to get a first team opportunity.

But while Celtic may miss out on keeping holding of the 19-year-old, there is another very able Belgian stopper on the books at City and set to be available on a free this summer.

The last remaining member of the club’s 2008 FA Youth Cup winning side, Dedryck Boyata was long seen as the future of the club.

Impressive in loan spells with Bolton and FC Twente over the years, the 24-year-old defender has been speaking to the Manchester Evening News about the likelihood of him leaving the club.

“I am 24 now, and not the same player I was before. I think I have more maturity and feel like I have stepped up,” he said.

“People here have seen what I can do, but I am not getting the chance every weekend, so I see myself going somewhere that I can play.”

Likely to be available for a nominal fee or on loan, Boyata would relish the chance to prove himself at Parkhead, where he would not only enjoy first-team football but also compete in the Champions League.

Denayer may not be around Celtic for much longer, but there is a ready-made alternative waiting in the wings at Eastlands.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.