Report: Celtic star Kris Ajer has identified what he wants next season
Celtic centre-back Kris Ajer has identified Newcastle as his next destination, according to the Scottish Daily Mail [print edition, 29/04, back page].
Ajer has been the subject of reported interest from Norwich and the Magpies. Yesterday, the Scottish Sun reported that Ajer had been watched several times by the former, who were prepping an insulting £8million offer.
This led to the Herald claiming that Celtic wanted closer to £12m – a figure Norwich weren’t keen to go as high as.
The Daily Mail, however, believe Celtic rate Ajer closer to the £25m mark. Unfortunately, the report claims that Newcastle will also instead try their luck with a paltry £8m offer.
But they state that Ajer believes Newcastle to be the perfect place for him to develop further. The Norwegian feels that regular game-time in the North East can provide him with the ideal step-up.
Celtic shouldn’t sell Kris Ajer to anyone unless a reasonable bid comes in
We know we don’t hold all the aces in any negotiation. That’s just the nature of the best when it comes to players who are into the final year of their contracts. The buyer has an easy hand to play in that they can just sign him for nothing in six months.
But Celtic shouldn’t be frightened here. We don’t necessarily need to sell Ajer for next to nothing. It’s clear that £8m for a player of the Norwegian’s capabilities would be an absolute insult.
Of course, Celtic can forget about bagging anything close to £25m for him. Perhaps if he was tied down to the club for the next three or four years then we would have more joy. But with Ajer into the final year? Around £12m-£15m would surely be a tad more reasonable.
Celtic of course took a major risk last summer when they held onto their prized assets. The reason being that the likes of Odsonne Edouard, Ajer, and Ryan Christie’s contracts were all expiring in 2022. We knew this was a calculated risk to take in order to try and secure 10-in-a-row. But just because they’re into those final years, we don’t need to sell for next to nothing.
Ajer wanting a move to Newcastle definitely strengthens their hand. However, if they can’t stump up the cash then the former Start man will simply have to accept honouring his current contract.
Hopefully it doesn’t come to that and we can get a proper figure for Ajer. We’ve put far too much into his development to lose him for nothing.