Celtic end their pursuit of Aberdeen's Scott McKenna

Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna has been the subject of interest from Celtic
From Ronnie Esplin in Birstonas

Uefa Europa League play-off round, first leg: FK Suduva v Celtic (today, 6pm, live on eir Sport 2)

CELTIC manager Brendan Rodgers has had his interest in defender Scott McKenna ended by Aberdeen.

The Pittodrie side reportedly rejected a bid in the region of £3.5million from the Scottish champions for the 21-year-old Scotland international.

Ahead of the first leg of the Europa League play-off against Suduva today, Rodgers was asked if the Parkhead club would be going back to the Granite City with an increased offer.

He said: “I don’t think so, no. He is a young player that I like, however the clubs have spoken and Scott, it was made clear, won’t be for sale, won’t be available in this window so that would end that.”

Celtic will be without Dedryck Boyata once again but Rodgers stressed that there is a medical issue with the Belgium international

The 27-year-old defender was sent to train with the U20s after claiming an injury led to him missing the Champions League qualifying defeat at AEK Athens last Tuesday while Rodgers claimed he was fit.

Boyata returned to training with his team-mates this week following a clear-the-air chat with Rodgers and skipper Scott Brown but missed the trip to Lithuania along with fellow defender Jack Hendry and French striker Odsonne Edouard.

The former Swansea and Liverpool boss revealed there is interest in Boyata, who was the subject of a failed £9m bid from Fulham before the English transfer window closed and who has been linked with Sevilla.

Rodgers said: “Dedryck Boyata isn’t here. There are still issues with him physically. We’re at a stage in the season where we can’t afford to take any real risks on players if they’re not physically right to be here.

“It’s very simple and it’s closed now. He had a meeting with the captain and myself. We all spoke about where we were at and wanted to move on from it.

“We only want good players but, more importantly, we only want good attitudes in the group and that was something that was very clear.

“He’s trained the last few days with the squad but deems himself not quite right physically to participate in the games.”

“Edouard is still recovering,” added Rodgers. “He’s working well and it’ll probably be the beginning of next week.

“Jack Hendry played with a really sore ankle at the weekend and isn’t available for the game.”

Rodgers admitted disappointment at crashing out of the Champions League in the third qualifying round – “you can’t deny that” – but is keen to make sure Celtic reach the group stages of the Europa League.

He said: “We want to ensure we make no mistakes over these two games, get qualification and then there’s going to be a lot of real football rewards in that for us.

“That’s something we’re very determined to do. We want to ensure we’re in those group stages come the end of next week.”

n Lafferty returns to Ibrox p64

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