With the season going into what at the moment looks like an extended break, Celtic boss Neil Lennon must try and get into Kristoffer Ajer’s mind.
Ajer has been a mainstay in Lennon’s starting XI this season. The Norwegian has played an incredible 49 times for Lennon this term, and looks to be one of the more reliable members of the first-team squad (Transfermarkt).
But despite all of that, the centre-back’s agent has seriously let him down recently. Indeed, recent comments from his representative Tore Pedersen were simply unacceptable. Speaking in comments published by the Scottish Sun, Pedersen that Ajer will leave Parkhead this summer.
Lennon was quick to come out and refute that claim. The Celtic manager stated that Ajer will only leave when the club decides a suitable offer has come in for him. He also interestingly stated that Ajer has never hinted at wanting to leave the club (Scottish Sun).
The Norway international signed a new four-year contract in May 2018 that ties him to the club until 2022. Therefore, it will be down to Celtic as to what happens next.
Lennon must let Ajer know what’s what
Whatever the reasoning for the comments, they’ve come from somewhere. Whether Ajer has let his agent know what he wants this summer or not, Pedersen didn’t just hit out with those comments from nowhere.
Therefore, Lennon could do with getting Ajer in for a serious chat on the importance of keeping this kind of stuff in-house. This isn’t the time of the season for agent comments like this to come out. Not when we’re still gunning for a quadruple treble.
Even if Ajer had nothing to do with the comments and it was done solely by the agent, Lennon still needs to have words with the Norwegian. Like it or not, he’s Ajer’s representative. He must make sure he has a leash on Pedersen.
The comments were disrespectful to the club and what we’re trying to achieve here. They can’t just be forgotten about and swept under the carpet. It’s a bad look for both Ajer and Celtic.
Lennon had vital clear-the-air talks with Olivier Ntcham over the summer after he told L’Equipe he wanted to leave Celtic (Daily Record). Perhaps clear-the-air would be a dramatic way of putting the current situation with Ajer. However, discussions still need to be had.
These comments from his agent should be the first and last time Lennon sees any nonsense like that flogged to the press. The club deserves a bit more respect than that.