City targets believed to be keen on summer moves
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City targets Philip Billing and Kristoffer Ajer are understood to both be keen on summer moves but it appears the Canaries will have to be patient if they are to add the duo to their Premier League squad.
Fresh talk about Norway defender Ajer's future picked up yesterday as the defender wasn't involved in Celtic beginning pre-season with a 3-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday in Wales, despite the Hoops fielding 21 players.
However, the 23-year-old has joined up with his teammates and has been pictured smiling in training, having said while on international duty last month that "something is going to happen this summer" when discussing entering the final year of his contract.
Having won three Scottish titles and made close to 200 appearances for the Glasgow giants, Ajer also said he wanted to show loyalty to an "insanely big club", suggesting he would rather not run down his contract to leave on a free transfer.
A couple of weeks ago we reported that City had cooled their interest amid rivalry from German sides Red Bull Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen, who can offer European football.
Fulham's Tosin Adarabioyo and Koln's Sebastian Bornauw are believed to be among other defensive targets under consideration by Canaries chief Stuart Webber, although German newspaper Bild is reporting that Bornauw is close to joining Champions League qualifiers Wolfsburg for around £10million.
The situation has progressed in recent days though, with Scottish newspaper the Daily Record reporting that Norwich are willing to offer around £12m and that Celtic have opened talks to sign Rubin Kazan defender Carl Starfelt for around £4m - which could clear the way for Ajer to move on.
We understand the £12m quoted is likely to be as part of a structured deal, with a sell-on clause involved.
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Billing is believed to be one of the main midfield targets for City, after Bournemouth's play-off defeat last season.
That has led to Scott Parker coming in as manager from Fulham and it remains to be seen if the strapping 25-year-old will need to be sold to fund squad investment.
The Sun have quoted the possibility of a £10m sale recently and it's understood Billing would be interested in joining Norwich.
Parker was keeping his transfer plans close to his chest as he spoke to the media for the first time as Bournemouth boss, telling local newspaper the Echo: “While we have quality, what’s more important for me is trying to get a group of men together that have one aim. That aim is for us as a football club to be successful and move forward.
“Regarding the squad, it’s clear we are going to need some additions – of course we are. We miss six or seven players from last season that have left the club, so in terms of the squad, that’s light."