Southampton: Saints chasing transfer for 6ft 6in defender from Celtic

Southampton are reportedly eyeing a move for 6ft 6in Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer this summer.

According to a report from the Daily Express (Sat Aug 28th 2020, pg 69), Saints have joined West Ham and West Brom in the race to sign the 22-year-old.

The article also confirms that Ajer wants a move away from the Scottish giants and that Hoops manager Neil Lennon is willing to let him go as he rebuilds his squad for the season ahead.

In all, Ajer has made 133 appearances for Celtic and has proved to be a very good purchase after joining from Norwegian side Start for a fee of around £540k back in 2016.

Olivier Ntcham of Celtic celebrates after scoring his sides fourth goal with Kristoffer Ajer of Celtic (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Despite his height bringing about presumptions about a lack of pace and clumsiness, he has actually shown to be a very agile and very capable defender in his time in Scotland.

Saints already have a defender of similar height in Jannik Vestergaard but it seems like Ajer would be an upgrade in terms of what the club have alongside Jan Bednarek, Jack Stephens and Mohammed Salisu.

The Express claim that the fee on Ajer’s head could be as much as £20m though so it is unknown whether Saints would be able to stretch to that amount.

A move to St Mary’s for fellow Celtic man Olivier Ntcham has also been rumoured as Saints step up their search for a central-midfielder to replace Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Interestingly, a recent report from Sky Sports has claimed that both Ajer and Ntcham have had their representatives enquire about the prices on their heads following Celtic’s exit from the Champions League qualifying stages on Wednesday evening.

Both players will surely not be cheap – Celtic are within their rights to hold firm on big valuations with the Coronavirus pandemic producing financial strains that will particularly affect clubs outside the Premier League.

Ntcham would probably be the most realistic signing if Saints were to make one from north of the border but limited options at the back mean that they will probably be looking to add another defender if possible.

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