Italian website MilanNews.It have claimed that Celtic want to complete a permanent deal for on-loan AC Milan left-footer Diego Laxalt before the January window – but may have to strike a deal with the Italians that includes defender Kris Ajer.
Laxalt, 27, has already clocked up eight Celtic appearances since joining the Scottish champions on loan from Milan. The Uruguay international does have a permanent clause in his current Hoops deal, which Voce Giallorossa claim is £9million.
The former Genoa ace was on hand to smash the ball into the roof of the net on Sunday as Celtic came from two down to draw with Hibernian at Easter Road. It was his first goal for the club, and has seemingly convinced Celtic over a move.
The report claims Celtic are keen to make Laxalt’s loan permanent, but it might see the Hoops forced to include him in a deal for Ajer. Milan have been strongly linked with the Norwegian defender, and may only allow Laxalt’s sale if they get Ajer.
TBR’s view – What is a fair deal for Celtic, if they have to include Ajer?
Ajer has shown over the last couple of seasons that he has enormous potential, proving solid in the Scottish Premiership and just as impressive in Europe. Strong, good in the air and loving a tackle – Ajer is also more than capable with the ball at his feet.
He initially joined as a midfielder when Brendan Rodgers signed him, giving him the footballing ability to impress from the heart of the defence. If Celtic are to include Ajer, it should be a player-plus-cash deal with Celtic receiving Laxalt and cash.
Some reports have suggested that Ajer could be worth £20million or more. So, a fee of £10million and Laxalt would be a good deal for Celtic – giving them more than enough to replace him, and landing Laxalt permanently.