Celtic

Frank McAvennie has claimed Celtic will be signing a new senior centre-back this summer regardless of whether Kristoffer Ajer is sold.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Hoops legend is in no doubt a new player will be coming into Neil Lennon’s squad to compete to play in central defence.

Celtic released former mainstay Jozo Simunovic last month after five years at the club and there is intense speculation over the future of Ajer.

He has been linked with a move to the Premier League or Serie A amid strong interest from clubs including Leicester City and AC Milan.

That could potentially leave Lennon with just two senior central defenders in 2019 summer signing Christopher Jullien and Nir Bitton.

“Lenny has shown he is not scared,” McAvennie told Football Insider. “He has just let Simunovic go, who has been there five years.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“They did not take the option up in his contract so Lenny will have his mind set on who he is bringing in.

“Lenny will bring players in and a centre-half will be coming into the club.

“Kristoffer might go. Jullien and Ajer are good centre-halves but they don’t want to get hit. They have had problems.

“Lyndon Dykes at Livingston has caused them problems. Every time he comes up against them he is battering them about and the boys do not like that. They are not used to it.”

In addition to Jullien and Bitton, Lennon’s other potential centre-back is Jack Hendry although he may go out on loan again.

Right-back Hatem Abd Elhamed can also move across to play in the centre.

In other Celtic news, Rangers are said to be trying to sign “the next Scott Brown”.

PLUS: Subscribe for free to our brilliant new YouTube channel for daily videos, interviews with our top pundits and special guests, and all the latest insight into the club you love.