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Celtic: Kristoffer Ajer moving closer to Hoops exit

Ange Postecoglou isn’t even in the building at Parkhead yet but he’s already set to taste the bitter pill of one of Celtic’s best players leaving.

The Australian is in advanced talks with the Hoops and all being well, he should become the club’s new manager.

However, as the Eddie Howe saga tells you, expect the unexpected.

What’s the word?

Postecoglou will have to manage a mass upheaval of the playing squad this season but as soon as he walks through the door, he may have to sanction the exit of Kristoffer Ajer.

The Norwegian has been linked with the exit door for a number of months now with Norwich and Newcastle monitoring his situation.

It would appear that the Magpies are now closing in on his signature, although the fee will fall someway short of Celtic’s initial expectations.

Who is Celtic's best centre-back?

Ajer

Ajer

Jullien

Jullien

According to the Sunday Mirror (30/05, pg 76), Ajer looks set to become Steve Bruce’s first summer signing in a deal worth as little as £6m.

The Hoops reportedly wanted around £16m in order to let him go but their hand may have been forced with just 12 months remaining on his current contract.

Huge blow

To lose your best player is always negative but to lose the glue and stability of your side is a catastrophic blow.

Edouard is the man who’s been scoring the goals but without Ajer in the defence, their shoddy backline would have conceded even more.

From a defensive point of view, this was a simply disastrous season for Celtic. The Bhoys conceded goals on a regular basis and let in a grand total of 19 goals during their shambolic Europa League campaign.

They were made to bemoan some ghastly goalkeeping errors in Europe but domestically, it was the likes of Shane Duffy and Diego Laxalt who consistently let the coaching staff and supporters down.

1 of 10

We'll start with an easier one, who is this Celtic academy player?

You only need to look at the six goals they conceded in two outings with Rangers towards the end of the campaign.

Laxalt was caught out by Joe Aribo on two occasions while Jonjoe Kenny was run ragged by Ryan Kent on the opposite side.

With Christopher Jullien set to miss the start of next season through injury, losing Ajer to the Premier League will only make them look worse at the back.

Celtic have Leo Hjelde to bring into the team following his loan at Ross County but at the tender age of 17, he is not ready to be thrown into the deep end.

He could become Ajer’s eventual successor but he needs to mature before being given consistent first-team opportunities.

Postecoglou will need to find a replacement in a swift fashion or Celtic will be staring down the barrel of another unsuccessful campaign.

Either way, supporters will be fuming that they’ve had to relinquish Ajer at such a small price; he is far more important to them than £6m.

AND in other news, Celtic buy McCann in £13m spending spree, Edouard axed: How Postecoglou’s XI may look…

Article title: Celtic: Kristoffer Ajer moving closer to Hoops exit

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