Rangers’ upsurge under Steven Gerrard has restored the age-old rivalry for the Premiership crown. However, Celtic are still leading the race following a couple of unforeseen setbacks from the Gers but, at the same time, are sweating over the future of their midfield ace Olivier Ntcham over a potential summer exit, the Scottish Sun understands.
According to latest reports, the Frenchman is in Southampton’s radar who are keen on raiding the Hoops once more having roped in the likes of Fraser Forster, Victor Wanyama, Virgil van Dijk and Stuart Armstrong in the recent years. They have identified the 23-year-old as the potential successor for club skipper, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (who is being chased by Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Everton) and the player, too, have hinted at a summer move having asked for an exit already last year amid interest from his homeland.
Why It’s Going To Be Tricky To Keep Hold Of Ntcham Beyond This Campaign
The Saints are gradually turning things around under Ralph Hasenhüttl after a turmoil period over the past couple of campaigns. A lot of work needs to be done though to reclaim stability, but the attraction of Premier League football is way more fascinating and too hard to ignore for any emerging prospect across the globe.
Ntcham, a French youth international, has appeared more than 100 times for the Bhoys since completing a switch to Parkhead during Brendan Rodgers’ regime. He had a stint with Manchester City prior to that. However, he failed to break into their senior side ahead of the renowned names. The youngster has unfinished business in England and therefore, would relish the opportunity to flourish as a midfield maestro in the forthcoming future.
A Blow For Celtic?
Although Ntcham was supposed to part ways with the Glasgow giants at some stage of his career, Neil Lennon might still be concerned with the form he has been showing of late. He is being utilized box-to-box, mostly in the advanced areas to link up with Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths. He is offering great work ethic, composure on and off the ball, creativity, vision along with physicality that helps him dominate the midfield game week in week out.
The likes of Tom Rogic and Ryan Christie are there to slot in his absence. But the duo are preferred as ‘number 10s’ and would struggle to orchestrate the show from deep down the pitch. The Les Bleus professional has all the traits to attain success at St. Mary’s and the gaffer, thus, must start looking for a worthy alternative before entering the transfer talks.