Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer has made a “massive claim” by saying this is the best Hoops side he has been part of during his time at Parkhead, according to Alan Hutton.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Scotland international says that he actually thinks that Rangers and Celtic are as close as they have been since the Light Blues’ return to the Premiership, with the Hoops having dominated the Scottish top flight for the last eight seasons.

Ajer has claimed that the current Celtic side “is the best dressing room” he has played with during his three-and-a-bit years at Parkhead, despite having won a domestic treble for the last three seasons with the Bhoys.

Hutton says that Ajer has made a bold statement with his comments and suggests that Rangers have closed the gap on their Glasgow rivals this season.

Hutton told Football Insider: “Yeah, it’s a massive claim. It is very strong and let’s not take it away from them, they’ve been very strong for years. This is probably the closest it’s been for Rangers in the last year.

“Is it Rangers that have got better, have Celtic got worse? I’m not so sure where that lies but they’re definitely strong. It’s going to be difficult for Rangers through the season but the most, as in it’s been close, it’s been the best it’s been for years.

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“Hopefully it’s going to be dramatic this season.” 

The Glasgow giants are currently separated by one point in the Scottish Premiership, with the Hoops’ Old Firm victory the only defeat for Steven Gerrard’s men in the league.

Celtic have not suffered defeat in the top flight yet, although were held to a 1-1 draw by Hibernian in their last outing.

In other Celtic news, Football Insider can reveal that Lennon is preparing to unleash a never-before-seen Hoops player after being dazzled in training.