According to The Athletic, Norwich City have now ‘overtaken’ Newcastle United in the race to sign Celtic star Kristoffer Ajer.
They also claim that Bayer Levekusen are the other side to have upped their interest to edge ahead of ourselves – a worrying sign considering the 6ft 6′ centre-back is believed to be our one of our top summer targets.
The same report – which focuses on the futures of several Celtic players – also reveals that Olivier Ntcham is ‘on the cusp’ of a surprise move to AEK Athens, with him the subject of a January loan bid before we eventually wrapped up a deal for Joe Willock.
Back to Ajer, it is hardly reassuring to read that newly promoted Norwich City are now outmuscling us in the transfer market.
It’s early days, with most of this summer’s business likely to take place across July and August, but it wasn’t long ago we were ‘all set’ to sign Ajer for £6m and described as the front runners for his signature by Scottish outlet, the Daily Record.
No disrespect to Norwich, but he’d surely prefer a move to St James’ Park, making you wonder if these new claims from The Athletic point towards a small budget for Steve Bruce – perhaps we are exploring cheaper options as a ‘£6-8m’ price tag could impact our hopes of landing Joe Willock on a permanent deal?
A loan bid for Arsenal’s William Saliba has been talked up and The Sun’s Alan Nixon believes Bruce wants Liverpool’s Nat Phillips, but I fear for us this summer if a newly promoted side are beating us to what could be a real bargain.