The summer will be a time of transformation for Celtic, when one of the club’s most fruitful eras comes to an end, and the club must now concentrate on rebuilding the squad in order to contend for the Scottish title next season.
Over the next several months, a variety of players are predicted to leave Parkhead. Although Odsonne Edouard has taken all of the headlines about his exit, Kris Ajer may accompany him out the door, and his departure could have almost as much of an effect as the Frenchman’s.
This season, Ajer has been the club’s strongest defender by far. However, with only over a year remaining on his new deal, the Hoops could be compelled to let him go if they are unable to find a compromise with the Norwegian.
Although John Kennedy did not comment on the player’s contract circumstance, it did not seem that he was hopeful that the Norwegian will remain past this season. According to The Scotsman, he stated:
“I’ve no doubt that there will be interest in him. He’s still very young and he’s an international player. With his profile of speed, size, technique and ability – there’s going to be interest in him. When that comes it’ll be the club and Kris himself making that decision. It’s important for the club going forward to keep players like him. But it’s a two-way thing of the player having that commitment contractually as well.
“We’ve got boys here like [Scott] Brown and [Callum] McGregor who know the club inside out, enjoy being here and have an affiliation with Celtic. They’re happy here and content, they want to maximise the time they have. But other players as we’ve seen in the past, come in, do well for the club – but if it makes sense for the club from a business perspective and the player sees his future elsewhere, naturally things change. But that’s not just at Celtic, that’s at every club.”
Celtic would experience a big disappointment if Ajer exits.
Ajer has become the only player in the backline who has displayed stability and form throughout a season in which the Hoops have suffered on defence. As a consequence, if he chooses to leave, that would be a big hit. Particularly with Shane Duffy expected to quit and Christopher Jullien expected to lose a large amount of time.
As a consequence, the club could be left with limited choices. The Norwegian, on the other side, could pull about a sizable transfer fee, which would go a long way toward helping the club’s reconstruction efforts.
As a consequence, though Ajer’s exit is not desirable, if they are unable to find an understanding on a new contract, it is safer to let him go next summer rather than risk losing him for nothing a year later.