According to a recent report from the Daily Record, Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham is a serious transfer target for Ligue 1 outfit Lille. It is believed that the French club had scouts present to see Ntcham in action when the Hoops played their second fixture against Rennes in the UEFA Europa League. The Ligue 1 outfit are considering a move for Ntcham because Manchester United is targeting their key midfielder Boubakary Soumare.
Hence, Celtic can face a domino effect if United are able to get their target as Lille will then look for a replacement of Soumare and Ntcham has been identified as a suitor. This is not the first time when Ntcham’s future has been under the scanner as he has attracted plenty of interest in the previous transfer windows as well.
Ntcham’s comments from the summer
Ntcham had claimed (From July, L’Equipe) that he was disappointed about not moving to Porto last summer. The comment left Lennon miffed, and he responded by saying (Daily Record), ”Whether he’s unhappy or not it shouldn’t have been made for public consumption the way he has done it. He will be reminded of his responsibilities while he is still here.”
The midfielder has since stated that he is focused on Celtic. It was clear that Lennon had a word or two with him and the French midfielder changed his tunes. It remains to be seen now whether Ntcham’s head would turn or not again in January.
What now for Lennon?
Ntcham hasn’t managed to establish himself in the first team, but he has played a crucial role for the Glaswegian giants competing on various fronts. Scott Brown and Callum McGregor form the core of central midfield in Lennon’s team. Ntcham can even play as an attacking midfielder, but that role usually goes to Ryan Christie who has been in terrific form.
Hence, there is a case for the former Manchester City midfielder to move on in search of greener pastures. However, with Celtic competing in all the competitions, they would need more squad depth and quality. Therefore we believe that Lennon should keep hold of him until the summer atleast.
It cannot be ignored that Manchester United have the financial muscle to lure almost anyone. If they go in hard for Soumare, then Lille will also expectedly go in hard for Ntcham after they receive the transfer funds from the Red Devils. The reports don’t mention how much Lille are valuing Ntcham, but a top offer might turn even Celtic management’s head.
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