Noel Whelan has suggested Celtic could replace Leigh Griffiths with West Ham striker Albian Ajeti this summer.

The former Aberdeen and Leeds hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes that the Scotland international’s fitness issues could see his time at Parkhead come to an end sooner rather than later.

As revealed by Football Insider, the door has swung open for Celtic to sign 23-year-old Ajeti after preliminary talks were hold on a potential deal.

It is understood that the Premier League outfit will let him go if they can recoup £5m of the £8.5m fee spent on him last year.

Whelan believes £5m is about as much as the Bhoys will be willing to spend this summer and that the Swiss ace could fill the boots of one of the biggest names at Parkhead.

Whelan told Football Insider: “To win titles, to win football matches you need to have striking options and I think you’ve already seen Leigh Griffiths, maybe his time’s done, maybe that’s why they’re looking to strengthen and change that striking duo they had last season.

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“They’re going to need strength in depth if they’re going to win 10 – it’s not a bad price, let’s be honest. A club the size of Celtic, potentially in the Champions League, that’s a decent price for a striker.

“I don’t think they’ll want to go any further than that, quite frankly, but if they can get that deal done it gives them a fantastic option and another player to add to the quality they already possess.” 

Ajeti has played just 12 times for West Ham since joining the east Londoners in an £8.5million-plus deal last summer.

Meanwhile, at Celtic, Griffiths was blasted by manager Neil Lennon and left out of the club’s pre-season trip to France after returning to training out of shape.

In other Celtic news, Frank McAvennie has urged Lennon to promote a player he has been left raving over.

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