Reports of interest in Kris Ajer from AC Milan are gaining momentum.
Initially it seemed to be inspired by an agent about to lose his star client but with a new Dutch based agency and management change at the San Siro the next few weeks look dangerous ground for Celtic. New Milan boss Ralf Rangnick will want to see recruits on the training ground.
Over the last 13 months the hoops have lost Dedryck Boyata, Filip Benkovic and Jozo Simunovic for one reason or another, if Ajer joins that list even a £20m transfer fee won’t be much use to Neil Lennon as he faces another rebuilding job.
Hatem Abd Elhamed and Nir Bitton were drafted into central defence at times last season, Stephen Welsh looks ready to take any opportunity he gets but with just over three weeks to go till the SPFL season gets underway losing Ajer is an issue that the Celtic manager would rather avoid.
The Sun reports:
Ajer still has two years left on his current deal and Celts are in no rush to sell him. Milan would likely need to bid around £20m for the Hoops to even consider cashing in.
But Rangnick has been promised funds of £75m to transform his squad and restore the club to past glories. RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano is on his radar, but could cost in excess of £40m. Ajer’s high on Rangnick’s list of targets and the new Milan boss knows all about the Celtic star’s talent.
The crunch will come in the next couple of weeks, with the Scottish and Italian seasons out of sync the timing isn’t ideal.
Ajer has never discussed his future, everything has come from agents with websites feeding off alleged interest.
If interest from Milan continues after a switch of agents and change of management at the San Siro Celtic will have to step up their plans to sign a new central defender.