Leicester City leading the race to sign Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer

Leicester City are understood to be leading the race to sign Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer this summer, a report from 90min claims.

The Norway international was on the Foxes radar at the beginning of the year but a deal failed to materialise with the Hoops being reluctant to lose their centre-back at the midway stage of the season.

Brendan Rodgers’ side are now said to be planning a renewed approach and they are reported to be in pole position to sign the 22-year-old this summer ahead of several high-profile clubs including Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

Ajer made the breakthrough into the Celtic first-team under Rodgers in 2017 and the Northern Irishman is credited for transforming him from a defensive midfielder into a regular centre-back.

Obviously, the player’s close association with Rodgers is a boost for the Foxes but besides this, they could provide the Norwegian with possible Champions League football as they are currently third in the league standings.

Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu have been the regular pairing in the central defence this term but the club are likely in the need of a long-term replacement for the former, who is already 32.

Foxes captain Wes Morgan and Ryan Bennett (on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers) are likely to leave the club when their contracts expire during the summer and that leaves them with only Filip Benkovic, who has yet to make a mark for the club.

The 22-year-old did impress under the guidance of Rodgers at Celtic (on loan) last term but he failed to make a single league appearance during the first half of the current season before he was loaned to Bristol City in January 2020.

The Croatian could yet play a meaningful role for the Foxes next season but Rodgers would still want another solid central defensive option in the squad, given the added workload with the club’s likely participation in European football.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com