'Celtic will not be messed around by petty offers' - Exclusive: McLeish on star engineering exit
Alex McLeish has insisted Celtic “will not be messed around by petty offers” as Kristoffer Ajer tries to engineer a big-money transfer.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Scotland and Rangers manager is in no doubt the Hoops are in a strong position to command top dollar for the giant defender.
The Norway international’s position has been the subject of strong speculation all window and his future remains up in the air with new contract talks locked in a stalemate.
Ajer has publicly and privately made no secret of his desire to join a team in one of Europe’s major leagues and he has attracted interest from clubs south of the border as well as AC Milan in Italy.
As revealed by Football Insider, the 22-year-old was one of the players who Neil Lennon was talking about when he blasted the attitude of some of his squad following their Champions League exit at the end of August.
McLeish explained that plenty will be going on behind the scenes with Ajer’s agents likely to be very active.
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“Neil said something after the European game that a few of them were looking to get away and I don’t know if he’s managed to quell that kind of storm,” the former Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest manager told Football Insider.
“You would imagine Ajer is getting seduced by Milan or another top club. There’s no doubting the agents will be at work.
“For Celtic, it depends on the size of the offer. Celtic will not want to be messed around by
petty offers, they will be looking for the teams that are looking at their players to be very professional and don’t take the Mickey.
“Give what the player’s worth to Celtic – and then some, probably.”
Celtic have slapped a £20million asking price on the 6ft 4in defender, who has been playing in a new look three-man defence since Shane Duffy’s loan arrival.
The club have already begun assessing potential replacements, with Football Insider revealing that Ben Davies is being considered as a replacement for Ajer.