Stale Solbakken and Brede Hangeland shouldn’t meddle in Celtic business by urging centre-back Kristoffer Ajer to exit the club this summer.
That is according to ex-Scottish Premiership forward Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the 19-time international was begged by the Norway management duo to quit Parkhead and seek a new challenge.
Quoted in Norwegian newspaper VG via The Scotsman, ex-Wolves manager Solbakken said: “He has to change league now. He must. He does not have enough challenges in everyday life there.”
His assistant, former Fulham and Crystal Palace defender Hangeland, echoed Solbakken: “I’ve told him on the phone a couple of times. In some matches he plays in Scotland, he looks like a senior who plays at junior level.”
The 22-year-old has long been linked with a move away from Celtic Park, with AC Milan among his reported suitors.
Whelan encouraged Solbakken and Hangeland to keep their noses out of what is fundamentally an issue to be ironed out between player and club.
He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “I would have let him go at the beginning of the season when he wanted to leave.
“I don’t care about Norway’s manager. Who’s he? Has he turned into his agent now? Shut up. Shut your mouth.
“Let the player and the agent make that decision. Let Ajer and Celtic make that decision.
“It’s got nothing to do with him. All he needs to do is pick a squad and put him in it. His remarks have got no relevance at all. Someone else there chipping in for no reason.
“The club will deal with the situation. He’s got to get on and build a decent side. Concentrate on your job.”
Ajer has been a Celtic player since 2016, joining from Norwegian side IK Start as a 17-year-old.
He has gone on to make 170 Hoops appearances, scoring six goals and winning nine titles.