John Kennedy drops hint on Kristoffer Ajer's Celtic future

Celtic interim manager John Kennedy as good as admitted that Kristoffer Ajer is unlikely to want to commit himself to the club beyond this season after the Norwegian performed powerfully to help earn the 37-year-old a 1-0 win over Aberdeen in his first game in charge.

Celtic interim manager John Kennedy looks to get a point across in his first game in charge, and had points to make about Kristoffer Ajer after the Norwegian's efforts helped earn a 1-0 win over Aberdeen in the game. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Kennedy, who has assumed control of team affairs following the departure of Neil Lennon, acknowledged that the nature of the situation with Ajer - who has produced aggressive showings in recent month that allow for no questions over his present commitment - does not favour his being retained. The 22-year-old was known to be angling for a move last summer. With little over a year left in his current deal, nothing that has happened with the crumbling of Celtic’s domestic dominance is unlikely to want him to extend his five-year stay.

“Kris isn't overly thinking about his future. For him it's just about giving his best wherever he is,” Kennedy said. “I've no doubt that there will be interest in him. He's still very young and he's an international player. With his profile of speed, size, technique and ability – there's going to be interest in him. When that comes it'll be the club and Kris himself making that decision. It's important for the club going forward to keep players like him. But it's a two-way thing of the player having that commitment contractually as well.

Celtic: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

Celtic: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

"We've got boys here like [Scott] Brown and [Callum] McGregor who know the club inside out, enjoy being here and have an affiliation with Celtic. They're happy here and content, they want to maximise the time they have. But other players as we've seen in the past, come in, do well for the club – but if it makes sense for the club from a business perspective and the player sees his future elsewhere, naturally things change. But that's not just at Celtic, that's at every club.

“I've known Kris since he came in here as a kid on trial. He's a great character and a leader, in terms of how he works and conducts himself. We know he's a good footballer but we've always tried to work on his aggression the box. That didn't come naturally to him because as a kid but he's got it in his game now.”

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