Manchester City are reportedly among several Premier League clubs in the hunt for Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer.
90min.com reported that Pep Guardiola’s side are accompanied by Leicester, Wolves and Everton, along with mainland European clubs AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund, in showing an interest in signing the 22-year-old.
Ajer has been a regular presence in Celtic’s defence this season, making 49 appearances in all competitions and starting 28 Premiership matches. He has racked up 129 outings in total for the Hoops and won eight trophies with the club, including three league titles.
The Norwegian has demonstrated his abundant aerial ability over the course of the season, winning 3.3 headers per game in Celtic’s Europa League campaign. He is also quite adept at breaking up opposition attacks, winning 1.9 tackles and making 1.9 interceptions per game, while he has a noteworthy match average of 50.5 passes. [via WhoScored]
The centre-back may also be available at a cost-effective price, given his TransferMarkt valuation of just £2.43m, although he has attracted criticism from some of his club’s supporters in recent months for a perceived loss of form at Parkhead.
Ajer’s cut-price valuation might not mark him out as a top-level player but any detractors ought not to dismiss Manchester City’s interest out of hand.
He boasts ample experience for a player of his age and is familiar with playing in European competition, while centre-back has been a problem position for Guardiola this season given the considerable injury troubles of Aymeric Laporte and John Stones. Also, with Nicolas Otamendi approaching the twilight of his career, the centre of defence is an area that the Etihad Stadium hierarchy may well be seeking to address this summer.
Would Kristoffer Ajer be a good addition to Man City's defensive options?
Ajer has won more headers per game than anyone in Manchester City’s squad, while his tackling average is better than any of Guardiola’s current centre-backs and his interception average is on a par with Laporte’s.
With the chance of landing a young yet relatively experienced player for what could well be a modest seven-figure fee to bolster their options in a troublesome position, the Norwegian could be a shrewd coup by City if they can lure him to the Etihad.
Man City fans, could Ajer be a solid and cost-effective acquisition for the centre of defence? Have your say by commenting below!
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