Newcastle United have been urged to lure Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer to the Premier League by a manager that has signed the Norwegian defender in the past – in the form of ex-Toon midfielder Lee Clark, during an interview with the Daily Record.
Ajer, 22, was Brendan Rodgers’ first Celtic signing – joining the club as an unknown from Norwegian side IK Start, where as a teenager, he had scored 14 goals in 61 games from midfield or defence. He has since become a regular at Celtic.
But he failed to gain a place in the side initially, and it was not until after a loan spell at Kilmarnock in 2017 where he starred. Signed by Clark for Killie, Ajer showed what he was capable of and then returned to Celtic – where he has since become crucial.
The defender has played 168 times for Celtic, becoming a regular Norway international – with 19 caps to his name. AC Milan are being linked with Ajer, but Clarke has urged Newcastle to lure him to Tyneside if he is to move in the summer window.
“Kris is an outstanding player and I really feel for the Old Firm because it’s tough for them to compete with smaller clubs in bigger leagues,” Clark said. “Kris has got all the attributes to play at the very top and I’m not surprised to see him linked.
“He’s been linked with Newcastle in some north east media outlets. So with my Newcastle fans head on I hope that happens My mates have all been asking me about him since he was mentioned; I told them if it comes off we’ll be getting a real top player.”
TBR’s view – Would Ajer be interested in a move to Newcastle?
Given that the defender is being linked with a move to AC Milan, the chances of him ending up on Tyneside are unlikely for a number of reasons. Chief among which, is that Milan are likely to offer Champions League football next term.
The other is that Ajer is probably more likely to prefer staying at Celtic – who will be in the Europa League – over Newcastle. Mike Ashley is hardly going to give Steve Bruce much to spend, and that will also affect the Toon’s chances.