Noel Whelan: Leicester City in pole position for Kristoffer Ajer

Noel Whelan believes Leicester City will be in pole position to sign Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer because of Brendan Rodgers’ relationship with the player.

The Foxes are among the three clubs interested in signing the centre-back, with the other two being Arsenal and AC Milan – as reported by Italian journalist Nicolo Schira.

However, former Aberdeen striker Whelan believes Leicester are ahead in the race already, thanks to Ajer’s experiences with Rodgers while he was the Celtic boss.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider’s Dylan Childs, he said:

“Brendan Rodgers knows him and has worked with him before. He must feel he is capable of working in the Premier League.

“You always trust the players you have worked with before because you realise their potential. Brendan must believe he can do a job there.

“They will be in pole position because of that relationship. Also, the style of play they have, he will complement the other players they have at the back.

“If the money is right Celtic will listen I would think.”

The Norway international made 66 appearances under Rodgers and was a mainstay; however, he has been far from his best since Neil Lennon has taken over the reins.

Ajer’s agent has already publicly stated that the player will not sign a contract extension – his current deal ends in 2022 – and will leave this summer, giving Leicester the green signal that they would have wanted.

A centre-back is a priority for Rodgers, with Caglar Soyuncu the only long-term option available at the back at the club right now.

Jonny Evans, while still going well, is 32 and will need to be replaced, whereas Wes Morgan’s contract expires in June.

Then there’s Daniel Amartey and Filip Benkovic – who is currently on loan at Bristol City. The former will almost certainly be sold while the latter’s future cannot be commented upon for now.

Even if he stays, Leicester still need at least one proper defender. Whether that’s Ajer or someone else, we will see. He will certainly be a good signing, though.