KRISTOFFER AJER is involved in a mystery injury and is a doubt for tonight’s friendly against Bristol City.
The wantaway Norwegian international defender hasn’t featured in Ange Postecoglou’s side in the previous warm-up games against Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton where the new boss has utilised 30 players.
Ajer didn’t train in Wales yesterday as the Hoops prepared for this evening’s encounter ahead of their return to Parkhead on Saturday for a meeting with Preston where 2,000 fans will be allowed into the stadium for the first time since March 7 last year when Leigh Griffiths netted a hat-trick in the 5-0 win over St Mirren.
It is reported the 23-year-old utility player has a slight injury, but, intriguingly, Postecoglou praised his level of fitness upon his return to training and stated in a CQN report last week: “Kris has obviously looked after himself and looks sharp in training.”
ALL SMILES…Kristoffer Ajer in training with his Celtic team-mates in Wales.
While the fans await the line-up plus substitutes for the match at Bristol City’s training ground, it will be more than interesting to see if the centre-back features among those stripped for action.
Ajer, of course, has been involved in dramatic transfer links in recent weeks after making it clear he expected to quit the Parkhead side following his £750,000 arrival from FK Start in February 2016.
Brentford had a £12million bid knocked back at the weekend. The fee would have risen to £15million with add-ons for appearances and success, but the Hoops hierarchy weren’t interested in doing business at that level for an established international.
Norwich City, too, were given the same answer when they slapped in a £10million offer for Ajer who has 12 months to run on his contract.
ANGUISH…Kristoffer Ajer suffers in a poor performance at Ibrox last season.
Newcastle are among his admirers, but a report in the Northern Echo claims Celtic are looking for £20million for the back-four operator. St James’s Park gaffer Steve Bruce had hoped to land Ajer for half that amount.
It remains to be seen if the player has kicked his last ball for the Hoops, but it is clear the club have a fixed fee in mind before they consider parting company with the defender.
The Parkhead hierarchy will also insist on a hefty sell-on fee for Ajer as they did with Virgil van Dijk who left for Southampton in a £13million move in August 2015. The classy Dutchman switched to Liverpool in January 2018 for a-then world record fee for a defender of £75million with Celtic picking up over £6million as their percentage of the profit.