Newcastle’s hopes of sealing a quick deal for Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer hit a snag with news that his representatives are shopping their client around. It’s even been reported that they met with Bayer Leverkusen over the weekend with the Bundesliga club confident of adding the Norwegian to their ranks.
While the increased competition for our top defensive target is a concern, it’s almost certain he will not be signing a new deal at Celtic Park. The 23-year-old has just one year left on his contract but has ruled out signing a new one with the club he’s been with since the age of 16.
The Chronicle has published the following comments Ajer made to the Norwegian press on Wednesday about finding a new club this summer:
“With one year left of my contract, that would be the best solution for me and my club. Something is going to happen this summer.
“There are of course many rumours. Right now it’s just rumours.
“I have one year left on my contract with Celtic and I relate to it, but something will probably happen this summer.
“I have one year left and will be loyal to the club.
“For both me and Celtic to get the best possible starting point, it probably makes sense that it happens this year.
“I have brought with me experience from almost 180 games for a top club like Celtic.”
Celtic are in the hunt for a new manager and were close to appointing Eddie Howe before the former Bournemouth boss pulled out. From Ajer’s comments, it doesn’t appear that a new manager, whoever it ends up being, will have an impact on the Norwegian staying with the club.
He is set for a new challenge and up until a few days ago, it seemed he had his heart set on the Premier League with Newcastle leading the charge. That could still be the case though it may not be as smooth a process as Newcastle had initially hoped.