Saturday, December 3, 2022

Celtic Slap Price Tag On Their Wantaway Defensive Ace: Why Lennon Must Identify An Alternative

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Celtic have been crowned the Champions of Scotland for the ninth successive season. Still, they might suffer a significant blow in achieving their ‘ten in a row mission’ next year amid rumours of Kristoffer Ajer’s potential summer exit as reported by the Norwegian outlet Sporten.

The 22-year-old Norway international has been a revelation in the Hoops defence despite beginning his career in the middle of the park. He was brought into the first-team action by Brendan Rodgers, and the youngster never looked back ever since en route to establishing himself as a key first-team individual.

Ajer, meanwhile, flourished his game furthermore under Neil Lennon and formed a lethal central defensive partnership alongside Christopher Jullien. He adjusted well to a ‘back three’ set-up too and the versatility showcased across the defensive line has now drawn the attention of many European hotshots including AC Milan, Leicester City as well as Tottenham Hotspur.

Time For Celtic To Part Ways With Ajer?

However, Celtic have slapped a €25m asking fee for Ajer – an amount which is not at all minuscule considering the global financial crisis in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Milan, in particular, had monetary constraints in recent years and might struggle to match the reported amount prior to the upcoming campaign.

Leicester City And AC Milan Keen On Kristoffer Ajer - Ajer during a training session
PERTH, SCOTLAND – MARCH 01: Kristoffer Ajer of Celtic looks on during the Scottish Cup Quarter Final match between St Johnstone and Celtic at McDiarmid Park on March 01, 2020 in Perth, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Spurs, under Jose Mourinho, would look to bounce back from a miserable run and the young centre-half might prove to be an able alternative to Jan Vertonghen whose contract is set to expire this summer. Leicester, on the other hand, would look to bolster the backline having secured a place among the European elites and Rodgers, currently in charge of the Foxes, might jump in and tie down the prized asset in order to script an exciting reunion.

Ajer, under contract until the summer of 2022, is unlikely to extend his stay at Parkhead.

“He will not extend his contract with Celtic and will leave this summer. There are several clubs who are interested. There are many who have followed him for a long period.”

Tore Pedersen, the player’s agent, told the Daily Record a couple of months back. Talks have not progressed in the recent weeks either and a summer exit, therefore, should be worthwhile for all parties involved.

Celtic are hailed for their esteemed academy ranks and stupendous scouting network. They, as always, would find someone capable of succeeding the Norwegian in the long run and the fans, thus, must concentrate on their title jubilation ignoring all the speculations and transfer talks.

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