According to the latest reports from MSN, Celtic have slapped a £7m price tag on their midfielder Olivier Ntcham who is continually being linked with a move to Porto. The Portuguese giants were reportedly willing to pay £14m for him in the January transfer window, but they are only likely to come up with half of that sum in the summer.
The French midfielder’s performance is to be blamed for such a drop in price. The dynamic midfielder had a poor campaign as he struggled with form and injuries, and his stock has come down heavily in just one year.
In terms of natural talent, Ntcham can be termed as the best midfielder for the Hoops, but he has lacked desire this season whenever he has been on the pitch. He has given the ball away cheaply on far too many occasions, and that is why even when the Frenchman has been fit, he has struggled to get regular starts.
The Hoops signed Ntcham for £4.5m in 2017. Celtic were valuing him at £14m until January of this year, but now it seems like they have also accepted the fate of the player. That is a shame as Ntcham is still just 23 and he could have been a long term option in midfield for the club.
The dilemma for Celtic?
It would be interesting to see whether injuries have had that effect on his form. Nevertheless, we would be of the opinion that the Hoops can look to keep him for another season. Selling a player after a bad season would mean that they will fail to get his real value. But Celtic might feel that if Ntcham’s form keeps on spiralling down, then they might not even make £7m on him next year. So the club is in a classic stock market situation when the stocks are going down, and the stockholders are confused whether to hold on or to sell now before it gets worse.
Ntcham’s departure means that Celtic would need to add another dynamic midfielder in the middle of the park. Ryan Christie emerged as a top option this season but losing Ntcham would add more pressure on the club in the transfer market. The Hoops already have too much on their plate in terms of recruiting players.
What should Celtic do?
It can all come down to what the player wants. If Ntcham intends to revive his career at Parkhead, then Celtic should give him another season to let him get back to his best. And if the player wants a move, then the Hoops should let him go for £7m.
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