Celtic may not be in line for the bidding war they were banking on as Kristoffer Ajer looks to leave the club this summer, GIVEMESPORT can reveal.
What is the latest transfer news involving Ajer?
With the defender entering the final year of his contract this summer, Celtic were keen to drive up the player’s price by pitting interested parties against each other.
Indeed, AC Milan were strongly linked with a move during last year’s delayed summer transfer window and ultimately saw a bid rejected and, at this stage, their interest in signing the 23-year-old is over.
Newcastle United are keen to press ahead and submit a formal offer at the end of the season, though the fact Brendan Rodgers has ended Leicester City’s interest has left Celtic in a relatively difficult position.
Newly-promoted Norwich City are monitoring proceedings though Newcastle remain the most interested and could look to open negotiations at a significantly lower price than the £15m Celtic were originally looking for.
How much would Ajer cost this summer?
Considering the Norweigian international is out of contract in the summer of 2022, Newcastle are hopeful of landing the player for under £10m, particularly now Rodgers has called an end to Leicester’s pursuit.
Who else could leave Celtic this summer?
The situation is somewhat similar to that of Odsonne Edouard’s.
Indeed, Leicester are keen to sign the striker this summer and will likely make a £15m bid – below Celtic’s £20m valuation – but the lack of genuine interest in the Frenchman means Rodgers may have a relatively free run at the forward, whose deal expires next summer too.
Belgian side Oostende are looking to sign Jack Hendry on a permanent basis if only to sell him on, though the fact their manager Alexander Blessin is now unlikely to move to Sheffield United could close that potential avenue.
Who could Celtic sign this summer?
Despite the uncertainty on the managerial front, Celtic are likely to bring Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy to the club this summer.
GIVEMESPORT understand that deal is at an advanced stage with the only major hold-up being if the new boss simply doesn’t wish to work with the 30-year-old midfielder.
McCarthy joins the likes of Declan Gallagher and Siriki Dembélé on the club’s radar as they weigh up a raft of additions on free transfers, though it remains unclear as to whether or not the arrival of a manager as high-profile as Eddie Howe would change that.