BRENDAN Rodgers has insisted Dedryck Boyata is fit and was not taken to Athens in case it hurt the spirit within the squad.

The Belgian defender claimed to be injured when he posted on Instagram: "Unfortunately, I could not play because I'm not yet 100% operational."

But Rodgers made it clear the Belgian, who wants to leave Celtic, was left at home because the manager only wanted players who are fully committed to the team.

And while this left Celtic short for their vital Champions League qualifier against AEK Athens, the Northern Irishman has made a major statement.

Rodgers said: "Dedryck Boyata is fit, but he's not here with us."

"There's a really good spirit in this team. We have to find a way to get a result."