Olivier Ntcham looked certain to join AEK Athens this summer as Celtic and the Greek giants appeared to be willing to transfer the player without any fee being involved. The deal hit an unexpected snag last week, when it was revealed that a free transfer would not be possible and that Celtic would not be willing to allow the player, who they signed from Manchester City for £4.5m in 2017, to depart without receiving some sort of compensation.
The Frenchman returned to his native land last season, when Ligue 1 club Marseille prized him away from Parkhead on loan. Despite being given the opportunity to play in a stronger league, Ntcham endured a torrid campaign and struggled to make a mark on the team. As such, Marseille did not sign the player on a permanent basis and he was left with the prospect of battling to retrieve his spot in the side at Celtic Park, or find an alternative club to move on with.
As of yesterday, it seemed that AEK Athens would not be a possible destination for Olivier. However, Sportime journalist Giannis Chorianopoulos now states that AEK club officials are “checking” whether to make a bid for the midfielder after all!
— Giannis Chorianopoulos (@choria80) June 29, 2021
Hopefully a deal can be struck over the coming days. At this stage, it seems that the transfer would be in the best interests of all parties, whilst any fee would be welcomed by Ange Postecoglou as he seeks to rebuild his playing squad ahead of a crucial new season.