Dedryck Boyata & James Forrest: Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers wants to keep duo

James Forrest, Odsonne Edouard and Dedryck Boyata
James Forrest (far left) and Dedryck Boyata (far right) are entering the final year of their contracts
Champions League qualifying: Rosenborg v Celtic (agg 1-3)
Venue: Lerkendal Stadion, Trondheim Date: Wednesday, 1 August Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text coverage on the BBC Sport website

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to retain Dedryck Boyata and James Forrest beyond the expiry of their current deals next summer.

Belgium defender Boyata and Scotland winger Forrest, both 27, have 103 and 292 Celtic appearances, respectively.

Boyata played in three World Cup games over the summer.

"We want to keep Dedryck Boyata for as long as we can," said Rodgers. "James Forrest is clearly a player we'd love to keep."

Following Belgium's run to a third place finish at Russia 2018, Boyata has returned to training but is not ready for Wednesday's Champions League qualifier away to Rosenborg.

"He'd an excellent World Cup and gained valuable experience," said Rodgers of the former Manchester City defender. "It's good to have him back, looks fit, looks strong but of course just needs a bit of time.

"Talks have been ongoing. I had a real long chat with Dedryck yesterday and he's in a good place. That's important. Whether he decides that he wants to move on after this year then that will be up to him and his representatives.

"But my priority is getting him fit, getting him back into the team again because he's a top class player and for ever how long he's at Celtic, we would just want to keep him working and giving the best."

Forrest, who has been with the Scottish champions since childhood, has already netted twice in this season's Champions League qualifiers and had his most prolific campaign last term with 17 goals in all competitions.

"He's been outstanding in my time here, the couple of years, not just in the games but his attitude and energy in training," said Rodgers of the winger.

"You can see how he wants to improve and I think his best years are still ahead of him so I'm sure the club will be working with James's representatives to tie him down to a longer deal also."

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