Newcastle United’s deal for Celtic centre-back Kristoffer Ajer ‘will be pushed through in June’, Chronicle Live journalist Lee Ryder has reported.
The 23-year-old has made 176 appearances for the Hoops, winning three Premiership titles, two Scottish Cups and three Scottish League Cups. The Norwegian has also racked up 38 appearances in European competition.
However, he’s now seemingly set to leave Glasgow, with only one year left on his contract at Parkhead. He averaged 3.2 successful aerial duels, 1.3 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 3.4 clearances per game in the Scottish Premiership this season (via WhoScored).
According to Ryder, ‘sources at Parkhead’ are indicating that the transfer will be completed this month, also revealing that the fee will be £6m.
Ajer is poised to become the Magpies’ first signing of the summer as they look to build a squad capable of avoiding a relegation battle. For Newcastle, this deal is the culmination of a ‘couple of seasons’ of scouting.
This would be a shrewd and swift piece of business from Newcastle United. They’ve wanted Ajer for a while, it seems, and they’ve struck at the opportune moment.
Importantly, Ajer will also serve as an able replacement for Federico Fernandez, should he leave at the end of his contract in a few weeks’ time. The Argentine made 24 league appearances under Steve Bruce last season, averaging two successful aerial duels, 1.2 tackles and 0.7 interceptions per game in the 2020/21 Premier League (via WhoScored).
Ajer exceeds him for each of those metrics, which suggests that he would be an upgrade on the 32-year-old were he to join with Steve Bruce’s side over the summer.
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