Celtic

Neil Lennon’s departure will not help Celtic in trying to keep wantaway players like Kristoffer Ajer this summer.

That is the view of former Scotland manager Alex McLeish who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested some stars had wanted out for years.

Celtic confirmed Lennon had resigned from his post on Wednesday morning after nearly two years in charge.

The Northern Irish manager endured a tumultuous season both on and off the pitch and had to deal with players pushing for a move away both last summer and in January.

As revealed by Football Insider, Ajer, 22, was one of those agitating for an exit last year.

The Norway international is out of contract in 2022, as are the likes of Odsonne Edouard, Ryan Christie and Leigh Griffiths.

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McLeish suggested some players will have been thinking about their futures since Brendan Rodgers’ exit.

Asked if Lennon’s exit might change the mind of some wantaway players, McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “No, I don’t think so.

“I think there were probably thoughts afoot by some of these players. I think even when Brendan left, players kind of live for an era and Brendan’s era was really magnificent for those guys.

“Neil came in and wrapped up a couple of trophies, which was great, but people say it was Brendan’s team.

“That’s why I see that a lot of those guys, when they saw Brendan leaving, would probably think: ‘Maybe I’ll think about my future.’

“Nowadays players like Ajer can leave a club at the drop of a hat. Amazing days nowadays for players in terms of their salaries.

“I think what the important thing for me was success and making your name as a footballer. That’s what I think a lot of these Celtic players may be thinking about.”

In other news, Celtic fans may be left raging if ‘Rodgers MK II’ gets the job, claims McLeish.