There has been a fresh blow in regards to Newcastle United’s hopes of signing Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer.
What’s the latest Newcastle United transfer news?
Back in May, Nothing But Newcastle revealed that the 23-year-old was the club’s top target this summer and, because of his contractual status, there was a hope that they could low ball the Scottish giants.
Figures of £8m were quoted by The Daily Mail and The Athletic had claimed the Norway star had been extensively scouted.
However, the latter publication have now revealed that Celtic are asking for around £20m, putting a number of other clubs off. Indeed, Ajer will be free to talk to foreign clubs in January, so the idea of paying so much money does seem unlikely.
How much of a blow is this for Newcastle?
Well, considering the fact he’s thought to have been scouted and has emerged as a top target, being priced out of a potential move obviously can’t be a good thing.
Still, it’s an all too familiar story for Mike Ashley’s Newcastle, who will now seemingly have to look elsewhere in order to strengthen their defence, something Steve Bruce is believed to be keen to do.
A 23-year-old international defender to have experience playing for a huge club would represent a smart long-term investment but, given the club are likely to be on a very tight budget this summer, it seems like too much of an outlay.
What have the pundits said about Ajer and Newcastle?
Speaking to Football Insider in June, pundit Noel Whelan backed Ajer as potentially a good signing for the club, although suggested the player might view St James’ Park as a stepping stone.
“He will probably end up being a very good signing for Newcastle,” he said.
“The difficult one is why could he not be that for Celtic?
“As a manager, you look at that and you’re questioning his character straight away.
“Is he going to fight or sink? Is he going to jump ship? He’s done it once.
“What’s to say if things don’t go right at Newcastle he won’t do the same thing?”