Transfer Latest – Albian Ajeti’s Sturm Graz deal still possible

A deal that the Celtic supporters and board would ideally like to see wrapped up and finalised, is the one that would take Albian Ajeti to Sturm Graz. The Austrians have had the maligned Hoops striker on a loan deal since the start of the season and the player has enjoyed some mixed reviews during his time there.

Succumbing to injury throughout the campaign, he hasn’t been able to find any notable sort of form in front of goal, but nonetheless has scored goals – as he has did at Celtic to be totally fair to him. Not scoring a bucket load, Albian did find the net for the Parkhead outfit during his time in Glasgow’s East End. It was just never a sustained period of goalscoring; with injuries also blighting his time here too.

Albian Ajeti during the Premiership match at Livingston.: Photo Andrew Milligan

Still young at 26-years-old, the Swiss-Albanian forward has plenty to offer going forward, but he needs to find the right place and environment to reinvent himself as a footballing commodity. This will be his third club in only a handful of years, following a spell at West Ham United in the Premier League before signing for Neil Lennon. With a reported fee of £5 million, the attacker was a big outlay and we didn’t see much in return for that at all.

Ange Postecoglou and the player will have been hoping that heading to the Austrian Bundesliga with Graz would resuscitate his stagnating career up until this point, but with only three goals in 14 appearances for his newest employers, things could be looking bleak. It could well be that it’s a case of back to the drawing board for the player and Celtic in this instance.

Albian Ajeti scores. Photo Jeff Holmes

However, all is not lost just yet.

That’s because Sturm Graz’s Sporting Director, Andreas Schicker has revealed that any deal for Albian remains firmly in the balance as things stand. After saying not so long ago that they wouldn’t be stressed into making a decision about the former Basel man – with the Hoops powerbrokers eagerly awaiting the consensus within the Austrian clubs walls, as to whether or not they should pull the trigger on the £2.1 million it would take to deal him in permanently – there has been an update from Schicker in this regard.

Speaking with Kicker, the respected publication,  he was asked the following about transfers and Ajeti in particular:

“You have already mentioned Alexandar Borkovic. What is the situation at Albian Ajeti?”

To which he replied: “That is still open. Fortunately, we can still exercise the purchase option after the end of the season and therefore want to wait a few more games before we go on an exchange with Celtic.”

Kilmarnock v Celtic – Albian Ajeti scores Celtic’s fourth goal of the game during the Scottish Premiership match at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock. Tuesday 2 February, 2021. Photo Jane Barlow

So, perhaps there is still a chance that this can work out in both parties’ favour. If the goalscorer can find some sort of form before the close of business this season, we may be able to recoup some of that exorbitant transfer fee we paid for him back in the summer of 2020, and give Ange Postecoglou more funds for the war chest this next transfer window. If the Sporting Director’s words are anything to go by, it sounds like he is still very much a possibility for the Austrian side.

Paul Gillespie

About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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