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Celtic secure signing of Manchester City defender Dedryck Boyata

Scottish Premiership champions Celtic have completed the signing of Belgium international defender Dedryck Boyata from Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City on a four-year deal for a reported £1.5m, making the out-of-favour Premier League centre back Ronny Deila’s first summer signing.

The 24-year-old arrived in Glasgow recently to finalise a switch from the Etihad to Parkhead, and will ultimately replace fellow countryman and previous loanee Jason Denayer in the Hoops’ defensive ranks, as he returns to City for next season (13/5 with Coral for 2015/16 title).

Boyata has endured a tough time on the blue half of Manchester, having broke into the Sky Blues first-team in 2010, going on to claim the club’s Young Player of the Year for that campaign, when he made seven appearances.

However, he is now thrilled to be joining such a prestigious club, stating: “It feels really good. Celtic are a very big club and it feels good to be a part of it.

“The manager came to see me in Manchester and I spoke to him about having me here and all the ideas he had for me playing for the team.

“So I was very pleased with his plans and from that point I thought that moving to Celtic would be a good idea and we tried to do everything right for me to move here.”

Soccer - FA Cup - Third Round - Manchester City v Sheffield Wednesday - Etihad Stadium

Although, since bursting on to the scene; earning his maiden international cap in 2010 in a friendly against Austria and receiving an FA Cup medal for the 2010/11 campaign, Boyata has struggled to maintain a senior starting position, making only six appearances last season.

The new Bhoys signing was sent out on loan to Bolton Wanderers and Dutch side FC Twente as he failed to secure a permanent place in the City side, and could be seen as a long-term replacement for Deila’s dominant defensive stalwart and PFA Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk, who is reportedly set to depart this year.

After being part of City’s talented youth system, and spending six years with the club’s senior outfit, Boyata will now face a new challenge in Scotland’s top-flight division and is sure to see more first team action under Norwegian boss Deila, who is always keen to blood young players into his side.

Soccer - Scottish Premiership - Celtic v Kilmarnock - Celtic Park

Connections between both Celtic and City have ran deep in recent years, with Swedish striker John Guidetti nearing the end of his season-long loan spell at Parkhead, while defender Denayer is on his way back to Manchester after a successful temporary stint.

Boyata is the latest City prospect to arrive on the green and white half of Glasgow, but on a permanent basis, and will become part of a recently crowned Scottish Premiership side who are sure to be challenging on all fronts again next season, with the help of their newest defensive recruit.