Kristoffer Ajer’s representatives are ‘exploring all options’ amid strong links to Newcastle United, according to a report from Chronicle Live.
The Athletic’s Chris Waugh revealed at the end of May that Ajer had been ‘scouted extensively’ by Newcastle and that Celtic ‘anticipated an offer’ from the Magpies.
It appears Newcastle face competition for his signature though, with the Glasgow Times claiming earlier this month that Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen had made ‘tentative contact’ with the player’s representatives.
Newcastle are working within a tight transfer budget of just £8million-£10million in the summer window (via Football Insider).
The report explains that Ajer’s agency, Sports Entertainment Group, are currently assessing all possible routes out of Celtic for their client, hence the delay.
They’re said to have ‘good, solid links’ in Germany, Italy and Spain, which means the links to Leverkusen should come as ‘no surprise’.
It’s thought that Celtic will accept offers in the region of £6million-£8million for the Norwegian centre-half due to his contract situation, the high end of which would still absorb the entire aforementioned Magpies kitty.
The verdict: Bad news
Ajer’s Hoops deal ticking down means the transfer fee is pretty reasonable, and so this deal might simply come down to which club can offer the player himself the best package.
Reports of interest from Leverkusen are worrying, given that they can offer European football, but Ajer’s first-team prospects would surely be greater at Newcastle.
It would be a shrewd signing without a doubt, but equally the Magpies won’t want to find themselves being manipulated by his agents and playing a damaging waiting game while the wage demands go up and up.
In other news, Steve Howey has set an appropriate price limit for Joe Willock.
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