By Frank McAvennie

21st Dec, 2020 | 1:27pm

Pundit Exclusive: Lennon told not to change Celtic player role after £25K-a-wk offer rejected

Frank McAvennie has claimed Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer is a different player since being shifted to the right side of defence.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the Parkhead legend claimed the “fantastic” 22-year-old is excelling in an unfamiliar right-back role amid fears over his future.

Ajer scored the decisive spot-kick on Sunday as the Hoops secured a historic fourth-consecutive domestic treble with Scottish Cup final victory over Hearts at Hampden Park.

The Norwegian started on the right-hand side of the defence ahead of recognised right-backs Jeremie Frimpong and Hatem Abd Elhamed.

Despite much speculation regarding his future in the summer, Ajer has been almost ever-present for Neil Lennon’s side this season, making 24 appearances across all competitions.

The defender’s future remains unresolved and he has knocked back a £25,000-a-week contract extension offered by the club.

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When asked by Football Insider for his thoughts on Ajer’s new role in the team, McAvennie said:“Ajer has been fantastic since he has been pushed out to right-back.

“He likes to roam and he is also a great defender. I really like him in that position actually.

“Frimpong is more like a midfield player now, he likes to get forward. It is working with Ajer at the moment so why change it?” 

Speaking on Ajer’s performance shortly after the quadruple treble, Lennon said: “I’m thrilled for Kris Ajer, he was cramping at the end and I told him he was taking one because we practised them yesterday and he was brilliant in practice.

“He was magnificent today and I’m so happy for him.”

In other news, it can be REVEALED that Celtic are ready to open talks with £4million-valued star in January over free transfer.