Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer is one of the Parkhead club’s biggest assets, a 22-year-old, highly talented, tall centre-back with 142 competitive Hoops appearances and 19 Norway caps to his name.
Indeed, he was heavily linked with Milan during the spring and summer, though nothing ultimately came of the reports as he remained at the Glasgow club beyond the end of the transfer window.
In March, Calciomercato suggested that the Italian outfit’s interest was piqued by Ajer, who was rated by Celtic at 30m Euro (around £27million).
With Celtic and Milan set to lock horns in the Europa League this evening, Rossoneri head coach Stefano Pioli admitted that Ajer was a summer transfer target amid a defensive crisis.
However, he also said they are no longer chasing the Norwegian, telling reporters (as quoted by the Scottish Sun): “Yes, we did follow him in the summer.
“But I am really happy with the squad we have got. I have a lot of players in that position and I am happy with that.”
Ajer is a high-calibre centre-back with plenty of great traits – height, age, talent and experience amongst others – which make it unsurprising to hear him linked with other clubs.
With his contract expiring at the end of next season, however, there are some tough decisions to be made from both player and club.
Ajer is closing in on 150 competitive Celtic appearances and has won everything there is to be won in Scottish football several times over, so could he look to a new challenge eventually?
And if he gets offered a new contract but turns it down, would the Hoops look to cash in on him in January or the summer?
It’s extremely unlikely they’d let his contract run down to the point he can leave for free, given how big an asset he is.