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AJER AND HIGHER: £20m OR £30m? THE SOARING VALUE OF CELTIC ACE

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FORMER Celtic defender Vidar Riseth believes Celtic could get between £20million or £30million for his fellow-Norwegian Kristoffer Ajer.

Serie A giants AC Milan and Leicester City, managed, of course, by the 22-year-old international centre-back’s ex-Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers, have been linked with the utility star.

However, Riseth, who was brought to Parkhead by Dr Jozef Venglos in July 1999 in a £2.25million deal from Austrian outfit LASK Linz, reckons his compatriot will remain with the champions – for the time being, anway.

The 48-year-old former star is a close friend of Ajer and he told the Daily Record: “Kris is a modern centre-back, he’s young and has a lot of potential.

“The money clubs will pay for these kinds of players is crazy right now.

“We are talking £50million and more now in that transfer market.

“When the time comes for Kris to go, I think Celtic will be able to demand £20million – maybe even £30million. That’s the level we are talking about now.

“Kris is still only 22 and already has a lot of experience. He has played in Europe and he has been captain of Norway.

“That kind of quality comes at a cost. We will see, but I believe he will stay at Celtic.”

AIR WE GO…Kristoffer Ajer clears from Rangers’ Joe Aribo during Celtic’s 1-0 Betfred League Cup Final win at Hampden in December.

Ajer still has two years to run on his current contract and appears to be perfectly happy to do his bit as Neil Lennon’s bid for the record-breaking TENTH successive title in the new season which is due to kick off on August 1.

Riseth revealed his pal played down the prospect of an exit the last time they spoke.
He added: “There are so many rumours around Kris, but he is used to it.

“I’ve said right from the start that Kris would prove to be a great signing for Celtic and I have no doubt he’ll go on to big things.

“There is talk of AC Milan and I know they are really interested. They’ve watched him many times and he is the type of player they want.

“I think he will stay at Celtic for now. Every time I speak to him he tells me he loves Celtic, he loves the town and the last time I spoke to him he said: ‘Why would I want to leave Celtic?’

“Obviously, when big clubs are mentioned then you can talk about it and Milan are a huge club.

“It’s not easy to resist, but I believe he’ll sign a new deal with Celtic.

“He is sensible about his career and I think one day he will play in the English Premier League.

“I know there has been talk about Leicester City and that is natural with Rodgers being the manager there.

“But he is happy for now and we will 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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