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Boyata eyes Champions League chance

Published 02/06/2015

Manchester City's Dedryck Boyata has joined Celtic
Manchester City's Dedryck Boyata has joined Celtic

Celtic new boy Dedryck Boyata wants the world to witness his talents in the Champions League next season after ending a frustrating time at Manchester City.

The 24-year-old Belgian defender met the media at Celtic Park on Tuesday afternoon after becoming Ronny Deila's first signing of the summer in a move worth at least £1.5million, possibly rising to £2million.

The Brussels-born player signed for City as a youngster in 2006 and made his first team debut four years later but failed to make his mark at the big-spending English club. He was sent out on loan to Bolton and Dutch side FC Twente but has now decided to move on.

"Celtic is a team that wins titles so I am here to win titles and get qualified for the Champions League," Boyata said.

"The Champions League is really important for any player.

"In the last couple of years when City were in the Champions League I never had the chance to go on the pitch.

"I was getting as far as the bench.

"So, for me, it is really important to play in the Champions League because for any player it is the way to show the big world on TV how good you are.

"It has been a few frustrating years. As a footballer, you want to play as many games as possible.

"It was getting a bit complicated and I wasn't getting the games that I wanted.

"So from the moment that I agreed with the manager that it was time to go, I knew that I had to go for another challenge."

Boyata has played for his country just once, a substitute appearance against Austria in 2010, but is hoping he can rekindle his international career by performing for Celtic.

"You can be at Manchester City but if you are not playing you are obviously not giving the national team manager any reason to pick you," he said.

"Now if I play regularly and play is a big important thing."

Boyata joins the Hoops as a direct replacement for former City team-mate Jason Denayer, who has returned to the Lancashire club after a successful season on loan, and Boyata is hoping to make the same impact.

"I know Jason when he came through the reserve team (at City)," he said.

"He is someone that I follow and I think he had a really good season last year.

"Hopefully I am going to do the same thing, and have a similar season.

"This is a big opportunity and I am really delighted.

"I spoke with the manager who came to Manchester to see me, and the plans he has for me were good.

"He told he needed a centre back to replace Jason, who could play football, bring the ball from the back and win headers.

"Celtic are getting a strong defender who is quick and who has ability on the ball."

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