Celtic news round-up: Dykes interest, Ajer departure and more

Kristoffer Ajer

Celtic’s quest for ten in a row next season will be an interesting one.

Depending on who leaves, whether it’s Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer or just one of them, it could open the door for Rangers to close the gap.

Hold onto both players and recruit well and it’s extremely likely they’d reign supreme at the top of the SPFL once again.

Steven Gerrard’s men fell away from the pack before lockdown begun while Celtic only went from strength to strength, demolishing St Mirren courtesy of a Leigh Griffiths hat-trick back in March.

Their firepower is significant, but it may only get bigger next season, that’s if they add to their forward line, something that seems a real possibility after news emerging this week.

Transfer rumours are rife and in your daily dose of Celtic news, we have two stories relating to incomings and outgoings for you to feast your eyes upon. Check it out...

Ajer facing the exit door?

The Norwegian’s future at Parkhead has been in doubt for a while with Leicester rumoured with a move for the defender a while ago.

However, Italian outlet Calcio Mercato has just added to those theories, suggesting that former Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers is still very much interested in the young defender.

AC Milan are also in the hunt for the 22-year-old, making him their defensive priority ahead of the summer window.

Celtic signed Ajer for just £650,000 four years ago and in that time he has more than paid off that fee, playing 129 times for the Bhoys while becoming one of the most sought-after young defenders on the continent.

In the past, it’s been claimed that £12m-£15m would be a fair valuation for a player whose contract expires in two years time.

Lyndon Dykes latest

Dykes spoke out recently declaring that he was looking forward to the challenge of playing for a bigger club and he may well earn that this summer.

After all, Rangers and Celtic have now been linked with a move for the Australian forward.
The Livingston striker, who has scored nine times in the SPFL this term, has attracted the interest of numerous clubs across the border too.

Celtic have made an enquiry but will have to batter away some fierce competition from English shores if they want to sign him.

Millwall, Wigan, Sunderland, Stoke, Derby, Middlesbrough and Blackburn are also in the hunt.
Dykes starred for Livi when they beat Celtic back in October, scoring in a stunning 2-0 win.

TEAMtalk suggest Dykes could cost around £2m.

Edouard

Edouard wins Player of the Year

In rather unsurprising news, the Frenchman won the club’s Player of the Year award on Wednesday afternoon.

As Celtic lifted their ninth crown in a row, Edouard wrapped up the season with 27 goals in all competitions.

That kind of form has seen him linked with an exit in recent times, specifically with clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal.

However, Neil Lennon has made it clear that he wants the striker to stay at Parkhead and sign a new deal.

It remains to be seen whether he’ll do that given the interested parties, but Celtic clearly have replacements lined up if they’re targeting players like Dykes and Ivan Toney.

Speaking about the award, Edouard commented: “It’s been a great season for the team and for me, so I’m very happy.

“Without question, this team deserves to be champions. The most important thing to me, personally, is to get the chance to celebrate the title with the fans and my team-mates.

“On a personal level, I was frustrated that we didn’t get to finish the league on the pitch. I think every one of the players is the same.

“I don’t normally share my personal targets, but this season it was 30 goals minimum, especially the longer time went on. I’m sure if the league had continued as normal I could have scored 30 goals.”

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