Newcastle are reportedly considering an £8m offer for Celtic’s Kris Ajer as they look to build upon a strong finish to the season. Steve Bruce’s side finished 12th in the Premier League but conceded 62 goals across the course of the campaign meaning that defensive recruitments are at the very top of wish list going into the off-season.
The Daily Record claim that the Parkhead side are reportedly only willing to discuss the sale of Ajer if they receive around £16m for the Norwegian International. Ajer has been one of the brighter sparks in an otherwise dismal season with fairly strong individual performances. However, with Celtic’s defence suffering, the player has come under criticism from some fans. The signs that Ajer is a top player are there and might even push onto another level but a move to Newcastle may not necessarily be to his strengths.
Eddie Howe is expected to be unveiled as the next Celtic manager (any day now) and the Englishman has a reputation in England for cultivating and improving young talent, Nathan Ake is a prominent name when discussing Howe’s talents. The Dutch defender was sold for a whopping £41m as Bournemouth were relegated, justifying the defender’s decision to remain at the South Coast side.
Kris Ajer is at a similar juncture, he is likely to attract interest this summer but he should look to follow a similar path to Ake and wait for a bigger move. Kieran Tierney seemed to do it when Everton came calling in 2018, no deal transpired and one year later, he moved to Arsenal.
Ajer has one year remaining on his Celtic contract, he scored the penalty that sealed the Quadruple Treble but showed defensive frailties over the course of the season. He is an intelligent defender that has bags of untapped potential, Eddie Howe could help improve Ajer, offer him a new deal and eventually let him part for a record fee.