The media is filling up with stories about Kris Ajer is unhappy with the situation he’s found himself in at Celtic.
It should be noted that Ange Postecoglou didn’t call on him for either of the friendly matches so far, in a sure sign that his mood is not considered appropriate for the camp right now.
I am not surprised if the manager feels this way.
Ajer is clearly not minded to stay, not even to give us the extra year.
If he had been willing to talk on a new deal he could have got a minimum release clause in there and been gone already. Now he waits on Celtic getting a bid which we consider acceptable.
This is a poker game, of course.
The club knows it’s going to have to sell him at some point, and we know that there’s an upper limit beyond which we’re getting nowhere. I would be amazed if we’d had an offer of £15 million and turned that down; that’s why I don’t believe the story that we did.
Someone is leaking this stuff, though, and wants people to question it.
I can only surmise, since this isn’t coming from Celtic, that it’s coming from Ajer’s people.
Indeed, I think we’ll dig our heels in all the more.
All involved have to be careful here, but Celtic especially so.
We can’t afford for this guy to walk away on a free and to be blunt I’m not sure we’re going to get the kind of money for him that we want. An offer over £12 million represents excellent business.
If we get higher than that the people involved in negotiating the deal should get a medal for it.
Still, in being careful we don’t want to seem weak and it’s clear that someone is trying to bounce us into accepting some low-ball number.
But we are protecting our own interests first and if Ajer and his people are incapable of understanding that then too bad so sad … if he shuts up and knuckles down he can get a few more chances to put himself in the shop window and thus secure the move he wants.
If not, he can bitch and moan from the side-lines.
We’ll suffer for that, of course, but so will he, and I suspect that’s what we’re betting on.