According to Scottish paper the Daily Record, Newcastle are pressing on with their attempts to sign Celtic centre-back Kristoffer Ajer.
The report claims that we have ‘stepped up’ our interest in the 6ft 5′ defender and are confident we can not only beat Norwich to a deal for the Norwegian international, but land him at a cut-price fee of around £8m now he’s entering the final 12 months of his deal.
We’re believed to have sent scouts to watch him on several occasions over the past year, with The Mail reporting last month that the ball-playing 23-year-old is eager to sign at St James’ Park – despite interest from AC Milan.
Interestingly, the Daily Record also claim that we have been keeping tabs on fellow Celtic star Odsonne Edouard.
They state that Newcastle, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Leicester are keen on the 23-year-old striker – a player who has been linked in the past and someone Alex Bruce has name-checked in the past as someone he’s urged his Dad to sign at St James’ Park.
Elsewhere, another Celtic player has been linked in Olivier Ntcham – the French midfielder who we made a late attempt to sign on loan in January, according to Sky Sports.
After returning from spell with Marseille, Football Insider are reporting this week that we’ve revived our interested in the 25-year-old as he’s set to become available on a free transfer this summer after Celtic ‘exploited a contract loophole’.
They report that we are looking for ‘multiple’ centre midfielders this summer, stating that Steve Bruce wants an injection of ‘goals and creativity’.
So, Ajer is clearly someone we’re looking closely at – our interest in him has now been confirmed by The Athletic, The Chronicle, The Mail and now the Daily Record – however I don’t see Edouard as a realistic target given his £20m price tag (all of our budget may be spent on Ajer and Willock!) and feel the Ntcham link may well be Football Insider putting two and two together and making five!
With Eddie Howe all set to be appointed at Parkhead and all three players linked with summer exits, it’ll be interesting to see if any end up swapping Scotland fro St James’ Park over the coming months.