According to The Athletic, Celtic are now playing hardball over a potential summer exit for Newcastle United target Kristoffer Ajer.
The same outlet reported last month that the giant centre-back was one of our top targets this summer, however it now seems we will be well and truly priced out of a move for the Norwegian.
After Norwich and Bayer Leverkusen had £10m bids rejected, The Athletic claim that Brentford had a £12m bid (plus £3m in add-ons) turned down over the weekend, with talks ‘collapsing’ because Celtic have slapped a new asking price of £20m on Ajer’s head.
Here’s a snippet from their latest piece on the defender’s future:
‘They have elected to play hardball over the fees for Kristoffer Ajer and Odsonne Edouard.
‘Celtic told clubs interested in Ajer he was available for £15 million after Norwich and Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen had £10 million bids rejected.
‘Brentford, promoted to next season’s Premier League with Norwich, tabled a bid of £12 million up-front plus £3 million in add-ons over the weekend, but Celtic then stated the defender’s new price was £20 million.
‘It is understood that talks have since collapsed.’
So, bad news for Brentford, Norwich and Newcastle United, as it seemed we were reluctant to pay £10m for a man entering the final 12 months of his deal – never mind £20m!
Mind you, at least the newly promoted pair are actually making bids for players.
Meanwhile at Newcastle, it’s hard to say what on earth we are doing. Is Lee Charnley still on furlough? Are we actually in the market for new signings or are we sitting with our arms crossed until a final decisions is made on the ongoing takeover saga?
Either way, we feel like a ghost club at present and have serious work to do with just four weeks to go until our first game of the new 2021/22 season.