Brentford have announced the signing of Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer for a club-record £13.5million fee.
Sportsmail revealed that the newly-promoted Premier League side reached an agreement with Celtic over the transfer of the 23-year-old defender last week, with the Norwegian completing a medical this week.
Ajer went public on his wish to leave Celtic at the start of June and had attracted interest from Newcastle United, Norwich City and Bayer Leverkusen, but has now signed a five-year deal with the Bees.
Brentford head coach Thomas Frank told the club’s official website: ‘We wanted to get another central defender in, and Kris was our first choice. We think he fits the position-specific profile perfectly, especially on the ball.
‘Kris is very composed and can find the right passes between the lines. His level when bringing the ball forward is very high. As a defender, he has the physicality that you need, and he won his duels when he played in the Scottish league. He can help us in both boxes, with his strength in the air.
‘He is a player at a good age, and we think he comes straight in and be ready to perform in the Premier League. But he also fits the way we want to recruit players and work with them. He can develop as a player and both Brentford FC and Kris can move to a higher level in the coming years.’
Ajer had been at Celtic for five years after joining from Norwegian club Start as a teenager. The 23-year-old made 170 appearances at Parkhead and won the ‘Treble Treble’ between 2018 and 2020.
Now the transfer has been approved, it has provided a significant boost to the funds available to Ange Postecoglou’s squad rebuild at Celtic this summer.
The newly-appointed Australian boss landed £4.2m defender Carl Starfelt from Rubin Kazan as Ajer’s replacement, having already secured Israeli winger Liel Abada in £3.4m move from Maccabi Petah Tikva.
Meanwhile, Ajer is Brentford’s second signing of the summer after they completed a deal for midfielder Frank Onyeka this week, who signed a five-year deal from the Bees’ sister club FC Midtjylland.
The Nigerian also penned a five-year contract after being granted a work permit and will undergo a period of isolation to be ready for Brentford’s debut Premier League match against Arsenal on August 13.
Ajer will compete for a starting spot alongside Bees centre-back options Pontus Jansson, Ethan Pinnock, Christian Norgaard, and Charlie Goode in Frank’s Brentford this season.