By Will Butcher

Kristoffer Ajer is desperate to be given a first-team chance by Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers next season after starring on loan at Kilmarnock.

Ajer, 19, moved to the Killies in January and was converted from his natural position of central midfield to a centre-back, where he impressed under manager Lee McCulloch.

The Scottish champions currently have Jozo Simunovic, Erik Sviatchenko, Dedryck Boyata and Kolo Toure ahead of Ajer in the pecking order, and he has made just one senior appearance.

Speaking to the Daily Record, the Norwegian revealed that he is keen to play for Celtic despite interest from Kilmarnock over a possible loan renewal.

“Next season will be interesting for me. The plan is to return to Celtic this summer,” Ajer said.

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“I’ll do everything I can to make it at Celtic. Ideally, I want to be in the team, so we will see how it goes. Celtic have been closely following me and it shows they have faith in me.”

The five-time Norway Under-20 international shone at the back for Killies as he helped McCulloch’s side finish in eighth place and avoid a relegation dog fight.

Ajer made 17 appearances in all competitions for his loan side, keeping three clean sheets and proving crucial in securing five league wins in that time.

It remains to be seen if the former Lillestrom and Start ace will leave Parkhead again on loan, with three years still remaining on his current contract after bring signed by Celtic last summer.

In other Celtic news, this 22-year-old international striker is being looked at as a possible replacement for Moussa Dembele.

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