Newcastle appear to have a real fight on their hands if they want to sign Kristoffer Ajer from Celtic.
For a long time it looked like the defender would definitely be heading to St James’ Park this summer.
The Daily Mail reported back in April that Ajer was keen on a move to the north east, with Newcastle looking to complete an £8million deal.
Then in May, the Sunday Mirror stated that Newcastle were set to make Ajer their first signing of the summer – for an oddly cheap £6million.
This was a blow, but also a testament to Ajer’s ability.
However, it now looks like Newcastle’s pursuit of the defender really has taken a turn for the worst.
Leverkusen and Norwich move ahead of Newcastle in bid to sign Ajer from Celtic
According to the Athletic, Newcastle are no longer the favourites to sign Ajer.
It’s understandable that a move to Bayer would be more appealing. They can offer Europa League football.
But there’s no way Newcastle should be losing out to Norwich.
With all due respect to the Canaries, they’ve just won promotion back to the Premier League, and have been a yo-yo club for years.
There’s no chance Newcastle should be missing out on a player to them.
It reeks of the Magpies’ transfer approach over the past decade. Too much dithering, not enough action. It’s typical Lee Charnley.
Perhaps transfers are a bit more difficult this summer for Newcastle. No one knows what is going to happen with the ongoing takeover saga. Perhaps the club are reluctant to pursue players too intently before they know who the owners will be.
Either way, it’s the team and the fans who will continue to suffer.
Norwich and Bayer Leverkusen lead the race to sign a top defender with huge potential. As always, Newcastle are lagging behind.