Report: Norwich City cool their interest in Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer

By Euan Davidson

June 25, 2021

Norwich City are considering other options after cooling their interest in Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer.

According to Paddy Davitt, writing in the Eastern Daily Press, the Canaries are less keen than it had seemed on Ajer. Rather than the Norwegian being close to a deal, the newly-promoted side are considering a list of options. Former Middlesbrough man Ben Gibson is set to make his loan move permanent [Mirror], joining Scotland man Grant Hanley in the Canaries’ defence.

The report claims that Cologne’s Sebastiaan Bornauw and Fulham’s Tosin Adarabioyo were on Daniel Farke’s wish-list, along with Ajer. The Norwegian defender, whose Celtic contract expires in 2022, continues to attract glances both domestically and abroad. More recently, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen were said to be keen on the 23-year-old [Fussball Transfers].

Ajer has already expressed a desire to leave Celtic. He told Norwegian outlet TV2:

“The promise was that I would be allowed to leave last summer, but then we agreed that I would stay in the club because we would try to win ten in a row.

"Carl Starfelt to Celtic is a big possibility" | Swedish journalist Anel Avdić

“It was important for the club, but unfortunately we did not make it. Now we have come to the point that I will leave the club, and I really expect the board to keep its word.”

Last night, we questioned whether Norwich City was the best move for the Celtic star.

Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer needs to take his time over move, a luxury the club doesn’t have

Simply put, Celtic need to sell, but Ajer needs to think carefully about his next move. At 23, it could be career-defining. A spell with a newly-promoted Premier League club would be the risky choice, here. That said, it’d be as much of a gamble to assume he’d get first-team football at a club like RB Leipzig.

Ajer is a very interesting case study for scouts. He has some excellent qualities; his passing, tackling, reading of the game, determination in possession and age all stand out. However, he can lose concentration at set-pieces, and he hasn’t harnessed his physical gifts in order to be an effective aerial presence.

A battler: Kristoffer Ajer / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

These things can be coached, of course, but that takes time. Whether he’s a plug-and-play centre back for a Premier League or Bundesliga outfit, as he is, is a debatable one. Yes, he’s been a stand-out star for Celtic in the past, but even for us he’s a work in progress. Especially given that he was signed as a midfielder.

Celtic, though, need clarity on his situation. Equally, it would be easier to adequately replace him if we had a fee coming in – that stands to reason.

However, unless there’s a dramatic change of heart, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be the Canaries who land the Norwegian international. There’s plenty of the summer left for that to change once more, though.

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