Kris Ajer has completed his medical with Brentford as the 23-year-old nears a transfer to the English Premier League. The Norwegian defender has one year remaining on his deal at Celtic Park and made his intentions to move on clear earlier this summer. There had been significant interest in Ajer from Norwich, Bayer Leverkusen and Newcastle but it became clear that Thomas Frank’s London side were willing to pay the asking price for Ajer.
An up-front deal for £13.5m was agreed but now Football Insider are reporting that the deal is worth £18m due to the add-ons agreed with Brentford. Celtic had valued Ajer between £15-20m, which they appear to have attained. Celtic will have agreed to performance and appearance-based add-ons as well as the sell-on fee that has been customary from the club in recent seasons.
Celtic will need to pay a small fee to IK Start, who Celtic raided in 2016 for Ajer who cost just £500,000. The player arrived as a midfielder; however, Brendan Rodgers retrained the youngster as a central defender and he went out on loan to prove his worth. He returned, bulked up and proved to be a mainstay in the centre of the Celtic defence.
Carl Starfelt is on his way as Ajer’s replacement in the heart of the Celtic defence. He will be hoping to hit the ground running and form a partnership with Jullien and/or Welsh. Good luck to Ajer as he moves on, he has been an important player and will do well in England. His penalty to seal the Quadruple Treble will live long in the memories of the support and the part that he played in previous seasons will be remembered for years to come.