Report: Newcastle United still a potential destination for Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer

By Euan Davidson

July 2, 2021

Newcastle United remain keen on Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer, according to the Athletic.

The report claims that, after Celtic rejected bids from Norwich and Bayer Leverkusen, Steve Bruce is still enthusiastic about the Norway international.

There’s further Celtic intrigue, too. Cameron Carter-Vickers, who emerged as a potential Bhoys target in late June, has also been listed as an object of the Magpies’ desires by the Athletic.

There’s still considerable uncertainty about the Norway international. Clearly, Celtic are determined to get the best price possible. Having converted him into a centre-back, and plucking him from the Norwegian top-flight, the Bhoys will feel entitled to a sizeable fee. There’s also the knowledge that clubs in the Premier League have considerably deep pockets. Yet, they rarely pay top dollar for talent based in Scotland.

Ajer, to his credit, hasn’t messed the club or the supporters about. In an interview with Norwegian broadcaster TV2, the centre-back made himself clear. The response from fans has been surprisingly welcoming; Ajer somewhat divides the support, and those who like him will have been aware of his contract situation. In 2022, Ajer would become a free agent.

An exciting seven days for Celtic fans is about to get underway

That’s an unthinkable scenario for the Bhoys. So the news that Newcastle United remain interested is probably useful information. Whether or not his game would translate to Steve Bruce’s side is very debatable, however, and it doesn’t seem like the most obvious fit.

Newcastle United Ajer interest is well-established, while Cameron Carter-Vickers to Celtic talk has quietened

Since the 23rd of June, we’ve seldom mentioned Cameron Carter-Vickers. The Spurs defender, who spent last season on loan at Bournemouth, looks certain to exit North London. US journalist Larry Henry Jr had claimed that Ange Postecoglou and Celtic were taking an interest, but little has surfaced since.

Spurs defender Cameron Carter-Vickers is linked with Celtic and Newcastle / (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/International Champions Cup/Getty Images)

With Celtic reinforcing in defence, it seems inevitable that the club are planning for life after Kristoffer Ajer. Whether those plans include Carter-Vickers is any supporters’ guess. But after signing Osaze Urhoghide, and reportedly offering a deal to Croatian centre-back Mario Vuskovic, Ajer’s departure seems to be factored into the transfer business that Celtic are doing.

Stephen Welsh and Leo Hjelde are primed to take any emergent first-team opportunities, too.

But the player wants to leave, and established Premier League clubs are still looking to cut a deal. Sooner or later, we’ll be saying bye to big Kris Ajer.

READ MORE: Dom McKay’s first few months at Celtic could be uncomfortable


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