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AJER AND HIGHER: JULLIEN’S HOPE FOR TEAM-MATE

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CHRISTOPHER JULLIEN has urged his central defensive partner Kristoffer Ajer to stay at Celtic as the Hoops push for a historic 10 in a row.

Serie A giants AC Milan have been linked with a £20million summer move for the Norwegian international.

Jullien has stated in the past he believes his 22-year-old sidekick can go all the way to the top in European football. However, he hopes the youngster is in no rush to quit for Italy.

The Frenchman, 27, a £7million recruit from Toulouse last summer, speaking to the Scottish Sun, said: “Kris is a great defender and, ultimately, I think he can do everything. He runs a lot, he defends, he can take the ball into the midfield and play.

“He has so many qualities and in the time since I arrived at Celtic, I’ve seen him progress.

“My team-mates watched him progress before that – and he is getting better.

“But from my time here, I just saw him get more confident day by day and that’s good for Kris and the team. If it was down to just me, I’d be keeping all of the best players beside me for as long as I can.

IT TAKES TWO…Christopher Jullien is about to be congratulated by Kristoffer Ajer after his Betfred League Cup winner in December.

“You don’t know how football goes, but we understand each other and we help each other.

“I know the qualities Kris has which can make my game better and he knows what I can do for him, so it’s really good for both of us.

“Just to have him on the same side as me is great and I want it more.”

Jullien is now looking forward to three games in his homeland as the nine-in-a-row champions prepare for another momentous campaign.

The Hoops are due to play Lyon, Nice and and Paris Saint-Germain and the towering centre-back added: “It’s perfect to face such good players in the beginning. You play football to face these teams and challenges.

“When I was in France, I played against those sides, but I had different team-mates. I’m now with a team who can win these games, even though they are friendlies.

“It’s good to be playing in France and against such tough opponents to see the levels we can match with them.

“The strikers that we will be facing are top class. You want to come up against them and having battles against those guys is just perfect.

“I will be ready for it and can’t wait for the challenge. Whatever happens, I will be better for it afterwards.”

 

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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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