Date: 7th August 2019 at 2:39pm
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This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

According to the Mirror, via the Leicester Mercury, Leicester City are chasing Celtic centre-back Kristoffer Ajer as a replacement for the recently-departed Harry Maguire.

What’s the word?

It is thought that manager Brendan Rodgers wants to raid his former club for the young central defender, who made 67 appearances under the ex-Celtic boss, winning two Scottish Premier League titles and a handful of domestic cups.

The Foxes could be in the market for a new centre-back as last season’s regular Harry Maguire sealed a £80m move to Manchester United earlier this week.

Time is of the essence however as there are less than 24 hours to go until the transfer window slams shut.

Leicester currently have a choice of four different options at centre-back including Premier League title-winning captain Wes Morgan, Jonny Evans, Caglar Soyuncu and Filip Benkovic.

An unnecessary addition

There are numerous reasons to why a move for Celtic’s Ajer would make a ton of sense.

The pair know each other well, he would fill a potential need as the club were already going to go into the season with five central defenders and he would also be as close to a like-for-like replacement as you’ll get in terms of height with the Norwegian measuring 6 foot 5, an inch taller than Maguire.

He also would come a lot cheaper than the other centre-backs they’ve been linked to – Bournemouth want £75m for Nathan Ake whilst Burnley’s James Tarkowski has a £50m release clause.

But it’s not a move Rodgers should particularly rush or panic over.

They have viable options in that position as it is.

In fact, many of the reasons that a move for Ajer making sense can also be applied to a man already at the club in Benkovic.

The 22-year-old is yet to feature for Leicester in a competitive fixture since joining the club last summer from Dinamo Zagreb for £13m and last season Rodgers signed him on loan whilst still in charge of Celtic.

Back in March, the 46-year-old hinted that the Croatian could be part of his plans for this season at the King Power Stadium and that cause is certainly helped by the departure of Maguire – also, Benkovic is 6 foot 4 too.

Benkovic was arguably the better of the two Celtic defenders last season as well.

Over the summer he made his national team debut which is only a mark on his performances to date and he’s also played a number of games in the Champions League so his age should be no concern.


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