Today another of those transfer rumours that just irritates you when you read it; Newcastle’s alleged interest in Kris Ajer and their alleged attempt to find out just how desperate for money we are.
The offer the press suggests they will “test us” with is derisory.
£8 million might sound like a lot of money, but the only test of us will be to find out how hard we can laugh whilst putting the phone down on them.
There is no way that Celtic should accept that sort of bid, it insults us and makes us sound like easy marks.
If that’s what clubs think of us we’re going to get low ball offers for every player, and then we’re really going to be in a bad spot.
The real test of the new CEO will be how he stands up to these kinds of offers and holds out for what we are due.
This will not be easy of course, because Ajer is in the last year of his deal and can start talking to clubs from January next year and sign for them shortly thereafter.
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The same applies to Eddie and Christie, which is why it’s these guys who are most likely to depart.
Celtic, by the way, have not completely closed off hope that one or more of these guys will recommit to the club; I have to admit that this seems highly unlikely.
I think all three of them are going to go. If we’re going to get value for them, we need to be strong.
Some think that this is where we’re going to miss Lawwell and they may well be right, but equally, I wonder if he’s the kind of gambler we need for this. He used to think he was good at getting us players for low-ball fees; instead, they started slipping through his fingers. I thought we were robbed over both Dembele and Tierney.
We could have got more.
In a situation like this, he might well have been inclined to take the first decent over that came along so as not to risk too much; we need someone with a little more game than that. Could it be that McKay is a different kind of poker player?
We should be aiming for a fee of around £12 million or more for Ajer; anything else is pie in the sky.
We were never going to get Edouard style money for him. £20 million is reasonable for the French striker and £10 million or thereabouts for Christie is fair.
Newcastle’s alleged interest in Ajer is good for us, and if we’re targeting a £12 million fee then it’s a good starting point for the auction.
But as something that would tempt us to do business it’s a total non-starter and I suspect we’ll make that clear if they bother us with it.