Newcastle transfer target Kristoffer Ajer has revealed that he is expected to leave Celtic this summer. 

Norweigian defender Ajer has made 176 appearances in Scotland since signing for the club at youth level but it appears he sees his future lying elsewhere.

The 23-year-old is quoted as telling Norwegian outlet VG: “There are many rumours, and right now there are only rumours.

“It is clear that something will happen this summer. It is the best for both parties" said Ajer.

Ajer says he wants to sign for a club in one of the "top five" leagues - usually a reference to the English Premier League, La Liga (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), Serie A (Italy) and Ligue 1 (France).

Pressed on his next destination, Ajer said: “(In terms of which) club, I do not want to go into anything.

“We’ll get to that later, but it’s a top five league I aim for.”

Newcastle officials have held talks over Ajer’s availability, and are understood to be prepared to pay £6m to land the Norwegian, who first joined Celtic as a teenager in 2016.

Steve Bruce had been hoping to complete a deal before other clubs were able to firm up their own interest, but Ajer’s representatives have been talking to teams from across the continent and Bayer Leverkusen have emerged as strong competitors for the defender’s signature while it's been reported Leicester City have held an interest.

Celtic have accepted it is in their best interests to sell the defender, who is about to enter the final year of his current deal, and would ideally like to resolve the situation as quickly as possible in order to be able to move on with their own rebuilding.