English Premier League sides eye Old Firm defensive stars as Rangers linked with centre-back replacement

Newcastle United are said to be looking to take advantage of Kristoffer Ajer’s expiring contract with a cut-price move for the Celtic defender.

Filip Helander is on the radar of Leicester City and Aston Villa. Picture: SNS
Filip Helander is on the radar of Leicester City and Aston Villa. Picture: SNS

The Daily Mail reports that the Magpies are preparing to offer a £8 million bid for the Norwegian defender. Celtic are understood to want much more for the 22-year-old, but will struggle with their bargaining power as Ajer enters the last year of his deal this summer.

Ajer’s national team boss Stale Solbakken recently called for the player to leave Scottish football in the next transfer window and find a new challenge elsewhere.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Meanwhile, there is interest from the English Premier League in Rangers centre-back Filip Helander, according to reports in his homeland.

The Swedish star is on the radar of Aston Villa and ex-Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, who is in charge of Champions League hopefuls Leicester City.

He could even be replaced by a defender in Sweden’s top flight as Elfsborg's Joseph Okumu is reportedly a target for Steven Gerrard’s men.

Message from the editor

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today