Marseille manager has reportedly been watching Celtic's Olivier Ntcham for a year

By David Walton

June 3, 2019

A new layer to the Olivier Ntcham-Marseille deal has been reported after the appointment of Andre Villas-Boas.

Marseille’s new manager was linked with the Celtic job before Neil Lennon was appointed (Daily Record). But now, he’s ready to take on a fresh challenge in a new country with the Ligue 1 outfit.

One of his reported targets has been our hot and cold midfielder Ntcham (Daily Record). The Frenchman hasn’t been a solid first-team regular this season. A series of set-backs including injuries and a loss of form have meant that Ntcham is now third choice in the centre of the Hoops midfield.

Olivier Ntcham hasn’t been a regular this season (Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

And a fresh twist has been reported by Foot Mercato regarding any Marseille interest. Apparently, new manager Villas-Boas has actually been watching Ntcham closely for over a year. Villas-Boas apparently monitored the discussions between Celtic and Porto last year, and is a great admirer of the Frenchman.

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Despite the fact Villas-Boas was out of work, it still appears as though he’s been keeping an eye on our midfielder. As it stands, however, Foot Mercato believes that there have been no further discussions between AVB and Celtic regarding the player.

A difficult one to play out for Celtic

There will be so many different feelings regarding this potential move. Ntcham is by no means the top star at Parkhead, but he has real genuine quality.

Ntcham is a classy customer on his day (Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

His lack of form has been one of the more frustrating elements to last season. He has the ability to be the best player in Scotland bar none – that’s how good his technical ability can be when he’s up for it. But when he’s not on form, he comes across as lazy, disinterested, and simply not good enough for Celtic.

It all depends on whether Neil Lennon believes he can get a tune out of him. He certainly didn’t bring about a renaissance when he came in the door as interim boss last February.

Andre Villas-Boas must be forced to splash the cash to get Ntcham (Guillaume Ruoppolo – OM/OM via Getty Images)

But if Celtic are going to let Ntcham go this summer, big money should be forced from Marseille or anyone else interested in his services. After all, his technical ability shouldn’t be sold on the cheap.

A move back to France could easily appeal to Ntcham. But at the end of the day, he signed a fresh, long-term contract with Celtic early on this season. Everything is in the Hoops’ hands, so hopefully, we play our cards right.