In what seems like an exit that has been looming over the club for a while now, it appears Olivier Ntcham has finally been given the green light to leave Paradise on a temporary basis.
Ntcham, who has made it clear for the best part of eighteen months that he thinks he is better than Scottish football – despite not showing the work-rate to prove such a statement in the past year – looks to be finally on his way out of Celtic Park to his native France, with Marseille offering a loan deal with an option to buy for just £4.5m – the same price Celtic bought Ntcham for from Manchester City in July 2017.
— Anthony Joseph (@AnthonyRJoseph) February 1, 2021
It is a welcome time for both parties to go their separate ways; as reported on The Celtic Star earlier today, Ntcham hasn’t made an appearance for Celtic since the 23rd December, and with a player of his potential rotting away in the reserves due to his bad attitude, it makes sense for Celtic to cash in now rather than in the future.
What makes the whole experience galling, rather, is that Celtic turned down a €17m bid for Ntcham from Porto last season; and so to loan him and sell him for an entire €12.5m less feels like such a kick in the teeth to Celtic; essentially, Ntcham has not produced anything of note for Celtic since then bar the last-gasp goal in Rome – and that itself was not worth anything close to €12.5m, despite the good memories it created.
Speaking to the press today, Lennon confirmed Olivier’s exit, stating that he’s known the midfielder’s intentions since he was appointed manager upon Brendan’s departure.
“There is interest in him, both parties are talking at the minute so we will see how that one pans out”, Lennon said. Refusing to say which club was interested in Ntcham, Lennon eventually cryptically suggested it would be Marsille over Newcastle, with a subtle “maybe” once the one-time European champions name was mentioned.
“I’ve spoken to Olivier over the two years since I’ve been here, he is looking for a fresh start to progress his career elsewhere and he has made that clear over a long period of time. I wouldn’t be overly surprised if he moved by the end of the day, I think that’s fair to say.”
⬅️Ntcham wants to leave Celtic
Neil Lennon says midfielder Olivier Ntcham wants to move on Deadline Day with a deal close to being agreed with Marseille.
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) February 1, 2021