Newcastle United’s move for Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer is not done yet, with the player’s agent ‘looking for the best deal’.
That’s according to Chronicle Live journalist Lee Ryder.
Newcastle have been scouting the centre-back for a ‘couple of seasons’ and sources at Celtic had indicated that a £6million transfer will be completed in June (via Chronicle Live).
Ajer is about to enter the final year of his contract at Parkhead, putting the Hoops in a somewhat weak negotiating position.
Newcastle, of course, still need to agree personal terms with the 23-year-old, who’s been earning £14,000 per week in Glasgow.
Ryder says Ajer’s agent is ‘touting the player around’ as he searches for the most lucrative arrangement.
Though the fee appears to be a ‘bargain’, there is a ‘premium to be paid’ in terms of agent fees and wages, four words which are sure to worry the Toon given the rumours of their extremely low transfer budget this summer (£8m-10m, plus sales, via Football Insider).
Newcastle are still said to have ‘plenty of competition’ for Ajer, who’s won three league titles and five cups at Celtic.
This would be a commendable piece of business from Newcastle, but they may have to move quickly.
You sense other suitors will be waiting to pounce on a hint of uncertainty and snatch the impressive, youthful centre-half from the Magpies’ grasp.
Equally, though, the club will not want to be held to ransom, and will surely have alternatives in mind.
The agent is clearly holding a few tricks up his sleeve to drive up the fees and wages, which is hardly ideal for a club operating on a tight budget this summer.
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