Bayer Leverkusen is interested in signing the Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer this summer. Glasgow Evening Times has reported that Leverkusen is keen on the player and has already made contact with his representatives.
Ajer has been ever-present for the Celtics this season. The Hoops had a horrific campaign, finishing 2nd in the Scottish Premiership, 25 points below their rivals Rangers.
While Celtic would not want to let him leave this summer, they could be forced to sell him. The Norwegian international is contracted with the club till 2022 and thus could leave the club on a free next season. The club currently values the 23-year-old at £16 million.
AJER TO LEVERKUSEN
Leverkusen will go into the next season with a depleted backline. Sven Bender has retired at the end of the season while Aleksandar Dragovic has left on a free transfer. The other option includes Jonathan Tah, Edmond Tapsoba, and returning loanee Tin Jedvaj. With Tapsoba heavily linked with a move to Arsenal, the club is in need of defensive reinforcement.
Ajer hence is an excellent option. The Norwegian with his height is an excellent aerial threat. He also likes to tackle and is good at passing the ball and building the game from the back. At the age of 23, he is also a good long-term solution. Having played 176 games for Celtic including 18 times in the Europa League, Ajer is also well experienced for his age.
Leverkusen also has a good relationship with Celtic. The clubs recently completed the transfer of Jeremie Frimpong. The right-back moved to Leverkusen last January. Hence channels between the clubs are open and talks for Ajer could be smooth.
MOVE TO PREMIER LEAGUE
However, the Germans will need to act fast. Ajer has already caught the eyes of multiple clubs, primarily from the Premier League. Newcastle United is highly interested to secure the service of the Norwegian this summer.
Another team that is showing interest is the newly promoted Norwich City. The Canaries were amazing in the Championship and comfortably got their promotion. Their success was through excellent defensive performance. By bringing in Ajer they are looking to tighten that defence further.
The next destination of Ajer is hence still unclear. The current uncertainty in Celtic regarding their new managerial appointment and the general dip in their performance meant that he will opt for a move away from Glasgow. With multiple options in front of him, Leverkusen needs to act fast if they are to secure his signature.