Alex Bruce admits it would be a “big kick in the teeth” for Celtic if they were to lose Kristoffer Ajer in the summer transfer window.

The former Kilmarnock defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has heralded the impact of the imposing centre-back for Neil Lennon’s men.

As revealed exclusively by Football Insider, the 21-year-old has turned down a new contract worth £25,000-a-week, with the centre-back’s agent going public about his intentions to leave this summer.

Tore Pedersen told Norwegian publication Sporten: “He will not extend his contract with Celtic and will leave this summer. There are several clubs who are interested, but I can’t go into their names.”

Bruce insists losing Ajer will be a sucker punch for the Hoops but says Lennon will only care about him remaining professional in the club’s push for another domestic treble.

Bruce told Football Insider: “He’s obviously had a good season, he’s a big presence at the back there for them.

“Obviously agents being agents, trying to line their own pockets as well and moving on their assets when it suits them.

“Big kick in the teeth for Celtic, however, get the job done and they win the league again this year, it’ll be good for everybody all round. I’m sure as long as he’s good for Lenny and he’s professional and does the job, that’s all Lenny’s worried about.”

Ajer has already played 49 times across all competitions for the Bhoys this season, netting four goals.

He has a total of 129 appearances under his belt at Parkhead.

In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED a rising star has followed in Ajer’s footsteps in turning down a new deal.