It doesn’t really matter how good a player is, as you’re only going to receive big money for a star if circumstances are going in your favour.
That means everyone needs to know that you don’t need to sell, and ideally there will be interest from multiple clubs to help drive up the price.
Celtic face a tough situation with Kristoffer Ajer this summer because he’s about to enter the last year of his contract, so ideally we need to see a situation where various big clubs are showing an interest.
There’s been plenty of rumours but nothing concrete in recent months, so it was worrying to read a report which indicated that Newcastle United were looking to sign him for £8m.
It’s an outcome that would feel a bit flat for everyone. Celtic will feel they’ve lost a great player for well below his market value, while any sell-on clause may not be worth much if Newcastle go down and stay down.
As for Ajer, yes he’ll get his move to a “bigger league” and there will be more money to be made, but he’s unlikely to achieve anything meaningful and it could set his career back rather than forward.
There is some good news as The Athletic are reporting that an “unnamed European club” have made an enquiry over Ajer’s availability this summer, so that should help to strengthen Celtic’s hand in negotiations.
It means they don’t need to accept the first bid that comes along and even if it’s just an illusion of interest, it should still help to drive his price up towards a more acceptable place.