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BACK PAGE BULLETIN: RODGERS IN £15m CELTIC ACE LINK, GERS STAR IN HIBS ‘HI-JACK’, MAY STILL ON PERTH RADAR

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BRENDAN RODGERS has been linked with a £15million move for Celtic centre-half Kristoffer Ajer, according to the Scottish Sun on Sunday.

The Leicester City boss, who quit the Hoops in February for the Midlands outfit, apparently wants the giant Norwegian as a replacement for Harry Maguire who is poised for an £80million switch to Manchester United.

Ajer, 21, has already been linked with Italian cracks AC Milan, but Parkhead gaffer Neil Lennon scoffed at the valuation which matches that of his predecessor, as Scotzine reported.

The 10-times capped international is seen as a purchase for the long term.

The ex-Celtic chief will be given the same answer as anyone else looking at the versatile youngster and making an offer in that region: No deal.

Despite hailing the fee agreed with the Old Trafford side as “incredible business”, Rodgers insists he won’t be held to ransom if and when he replaces the England central defender.

He said: “If we can do some more business, then great. If not, then we will go with what we have got.

“As soon as we know Harry’s situation, we can activate interest elsewhere.”

Asked if he feared having to pay an added premium with £80million banked for the former Hull City pivot, the Irishman answered: “We have our own valuation on players we might look to bring in. It’s something we have been preparing for.”

Ajer played alongside Nir Bitton in a makeshift Hoops rearguard yesterday and strolled through the 7-0 Flag Day opener against St Johnstone at Parkhead.

GLENN MIDDLETON could see his proposed loan move to Dutch outfit NAC Breda – as reported in Scotzine – being hi-jacked by Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom.

Rangers’ 19-year-old winger was at Easter Road yesterday to watch the Edinburgh side beat St Mirren 1-0 with a late goal from ex-Celtic midfielder Scott Allan.

Heckingbottom confirmed talks had taken place with the player and the Ibrox club over a temporary contract with Steven Gerrard keen for the raider to get valuable game-time.

The Hibs coach, speaking to the media in his post match news conference, admitted: “He’s someone we have spoken to Rangers about.

“We would be keen to do something, Rangers would and so would Glenn. Hopefully. we can get something done there.

“It would be a loan. Glenn is someone Rangers value highly.

“So, if we can get him we’ll do our bit in terms of pushing him and trying to help develop him and do our bit for him – and he’ll do his bit for us with his application and the qualities he can bring.”

Gerrard revealed on Friday that Middleton was close to agreeing a move to Eredivisie side NAC Breda, but he could now be rerouted .to Edinburgh as a replacement for Martin Boyle, who is set for a prolonged spell out of action after sustaining another injury to his knee which had already been operated on in January.

STEVIE MAY is STILL on St Johnstone’s radar, despite the Aberdeen striker knocking back his former club 10 days ago.

Perth boss Tommy Wright, who saw his side demolished 7-0 by Celtic at Parkhead yesterday, will step up his bid for the frontman who cost Dons gaffer Derek McInnes £400,000 when he arrived from Preston two years ago.

Asked if there was still a possibility of a deal, Wright, speaking to the media, answered: “Do I want to resurrect it? The answer is simple: Yes. But we have to wait and see.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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