Celtic boss Neil Lennon, speaking on BBC Radio Scotland after the Hoops 3-2 win over Livingston, has made it clear that he doesn’t want to sell Kristoffer Ajer.
Ajer has been linked with a move to AC Milan. Sky Sports reporter Anthony Joseph disclosing that Milan are preparing a £15m bid for the centre-back.
AC Milan are preparing a £15m bid for Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer, according to our colleagues at @SkySport.
They understand the Italian club are due to make contact early next week.
Milan have been keen on the Norwegian international this summer.
— Anthony Joseph (@AnthonyRJoseph) September 18, 2020
However, Lennon is adamant that the player won’t be leaving the Hoops any time soon.
“A real strong game”
“It’s disappointing on the day of the game that comes out, that can be unsettling for a player. But I thought, particularly second-half, he had a real strong game, and we don’t want to sell him” Lennon said, speaking to BBC Radio Scotland (live match coverage, 17:18).
Lennon certainly sees Ajer as a very important player for the Hoops. With the rumours of the Milan bid, he could easily have dropped Ajer if he felt his concentration would be affected.
However, the fact that Lennon selected Ajer shows that he remains a key man despite the speculation. It is fair to say that Ajer didn’t have the best start against Livingston. He conceded an early penalty. However, as Lennon said, he did recover and had a decent game in the end.
Hoops will presumably reject any bid made
You would expect any bid Milan makes for the player to be rejected by Celtic, especially after Lennon’s comments. However, what the player wants to do could also play a part in this transfer tale.
If Ajer submits a transfer request for example, that could leave Celtic with a decision to make. Hopefully that won’t happen in what is such an important season for Celtic.
When Celtic take on Riga FC in the Europa League qualifiers on Thursday, Ajer will most likely be one of first names on Neil Lennon’s team sheet.
Hopefully he remains a name on the team sheet for the rest of the season, and does not leave before the end of the transfer window.