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Celtic transfer: Hoops reportedly plan to target £1.6m starlet should £16m-rated star leave Parkhead this summer

Celtic have reportedly identified a potential replacement for Kristoffer Ajer should the Norwegian leave in the transfer window, according to The Sun on Sunday (20/6; page 65).

The Hoops are apparently monitoring Rob Atkinson. The Oxford United defender impressed in his first year in the EFL last season.

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Atkinson made 39 League One appearances as Karl Robinson’s men reached the play-off semi-final.

As recently noted by the Oxford Mail, his contract expires in two years. And it now appears that a couple of clubs are interested in the youngster.

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According to The Sun on Sunday (20/6; page 65), Bristol City want Atkinson and are prepared to meet his £1.6 million asking price.

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But it is also claimed that Celtic also admire Atkinson and could look to make a bid should they lose Kristoffer Ajer.

There are doubts over Ajer’s future at Parkhead. It was reported earlier this month that Bayer Leverkusen were increasingly confident of signing the 23-year-old.

Ajer remains a Celtic player currently. But he has previously hinted that he sees this summer as the right time to move on. The Hoops reportedly value at Ajer at around £16 million.

So perhaps Oxford should brace themselves to have their resolve to keep Atkinson tested by Celtic.

Celtic transfer may prove shrewd piece of business

Celtic arguably need to strengthen their centre-back options this summer – whether they keep Ajer or not.

Shane Duffy has left after his nightmare loan spell. And Christopher Jullien has endured a tough time with injuries.

So paying £1.6 million for Atkinson could prove a shrewd piece of business. Oxford play an attractive brand of football.

They like to keep possession, so Atkinson has had to be good with his feet. And he is actually only a couple of inches shorter than Ajer.

Losing Ajer would definitely be a blow for Celtic. But perhaps Atkinson could prove to be a very decent addition.

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