According to the Daily Record, Celtic have maintained that they would be willing to sell defender Kristoffer Ajer for the right price amid reports that the Norwegian international has been linked with a move to Liverpool.
Ajer, 22, has been identified as a potential replacement for the recently departing Dejan Lovren although the Reds are to expect competition from AC Milan and Leicester City who are both interested in the Celtic defender.
Last week, The Herald had reported that Ajer’s representatives had asked Celtic for their asking price to leave the club following the club’s elimination from the Champions League.
The report claims that Celtic could hold out for a valuation of £20 million despite the Scottish champions yet to receive a formal bid for the defender.
Ajer – who stands at an imposing 2m tall – himself, is reportedly seeking a move away from Parkhead after Celtic recently offered the former Kilmarnock centre-back a new contract but he turned it down earlier this year.
His agent Tore Pedersen said in March: “He will not extend his contract with Celtic and will leave this summer.
“There are several clubs who are interested, but I can’t go into their names.
“There are many who have followed him for a long period.
“There are also clubs who would like to have him, but who cannot afford it. There is generally great interest in Kristoffer.”
Renowned for his 6ft 6in physique, Ajer also possesses a rare ability on the ball having developed initially as a midfielder.
Ajer, similarly to Virgil van Dijk, has flourished during his time with Celtic and undoubtedly has a bright future in the professional game.
Even if Ajer’s valuation is slightly on the expensive side, Liverpool should be able to get a deal done given their need of another central defensive option. Conisdering his age and durability last season, this wouldn’t be an extortianate figure to pay for an upcoming prospect.
Also, with Shane Duffy now on board at Celtic, the Bhoys could be tempted to part ways with the defender and reinvest the reported £20m fee elsewhere.
Ajer has even publically confessed his love for Liverpool, saying:
“[My dream] is to walk out on Liverpool’s home ground, Anfield, and hear the supporters singing You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
What RTK has to say
Central defence has been identified as a key area that needs covering for next season given the injury records of Joel Matip and Joe Gomez. Fabinho having to slot into the back-four in the Community Shield on Saturday also paid notion to that.
Liverpool will need to ask themselves whether the £2om Celtic are asking for is within the club’s current budget when considering the financial ramifications of the pandemic.
The Reds were able to offload a 31-year-old Lovren for half of Celtic’s asking price, so compared to the types of fees Liverpool could have to pay, this could be a bargain.
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