Celtic transfer news: £13.5m deal with Premier League club imminent

  • John  Reid
Outside view of Celtic Park ahead of a clash with Motherwell

Brentford are close to agreeing a deal worth around £13.5m to sign Celtic centre-back Kristoffer Ajer, the Daily Telegraph’s northern football reporter John Percy reports.

What’s the latest transfer news on Kristoffer Ajer?

The reporter states that the Hoops have already agreed the structure of the payments and the fee with the Premier League newcomers, which will see the Norwegian exit Celtic. 

John Percy reports that Brentford are close to agreeing a deal to sign Celtic's Kristoffer Ajer

Have Brentford won the race to sign Ajer?

If Brentford have indeed won the race to sign Ajer, it will bring an end to a transfer saga which has lasted for weeks and involved a few clubs. Norwich and Bayer Leverkusen were keen to sign the 23-year-old, but it was reported that they both had £10m bids turned down.

Newcastle were also interested, but they were put off by Celtic’s asking price. It had been reported that Celtic had turned down an offer of around £15m including add-ons from Brentford, but now it seems that the Hoops have got an offer which is acceptable. 

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What are Ajer’s statistics from his time at Celtic?

Ajer was fortunate to play in a very successful time for Celtic. Ajer won three league titles, three Scottish Cups, and three League Cups in his time with the Hoops. He was rewarded for his performances by being named in the PFA Scotland Team of the Year for 2018-19.

Ajer memorably scored the winning penalty against Hearts which secured the 2019-20 Scottish Cup and a fourth successive domestic treble for the Bhoys.

To his credit, whilst Celtic struggled last season, Ajer didn’t let the malaise affect him, and he was voted by his Celtic teammates as the club’s Player of the Year.

All in all, Ajer made 176 appearances for Celtic, scoring seven goals and popping up with seven assists.

One slight disappointment for Ajer is that he never got to play in the Champions League group stages for Celtic. The closest he got to playing in the tournament was making the bench a few times in 2017-18.

Perhaps Ajer is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Virgil van Dijk, who left Celtic for Southampton and is now a Champions League regular after joining Liverpool.

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Have Celtic already spent the Ajer money?

Whilst Celtic stand to make an eight-figure sum from the departure of Ajer, the Hoops might well have spent some of that money already. Celtic have reportedly spent £3.5m on winger Liel Abada.

It has been reported that a fee of £4.3m has been agreed with Rubin Kazan to bring in centre-back Carl Starfelt – possibly Ajer’s replacement.

That is almost £8m to spend on two signings, with around six weeks of the transfer window left to go. It could well be the case that Ajer’s fee will fund Celtic’s bigger signings this summer. 

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