Report: Celtic outmuscled by Marseille negotiation power

By Euan Davidson

February 2, 2021

Celtic and Marseille share many things in common.

Both from port cities, Celtic and Marseille supporters share working class values [These Football Times], a raucous atmosphere and passionate Ultra culture.

The two sets of fans, due to overarching club cultures, have a cordial relationship. However, after the loan transfer of Olivier Ntcham, it’s unlikely the boardrooms see eye to eye.

And according to L’Equipe, that’s because the French side talked Celtic out of €2m.

The French outlet claims that Celtic wanted an €8m purchase option for the ex-Manchester City midfielder Ntcham. Instead, the Bhoys settled for 6, which L’OM have the opportunity to take up before the summer. Marseille replaced outgoing star Morgan Sanson quickly, with his departure to Aston Villa [AVFC].

Former Celtic player Olivier Ntcham / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

An exciting seven days for Celtic fans is about to get underway

Another Celtic frustration, Marseille take advantage

Hard to blame Marseille here.

It’s very obvious that Ntcham was frustrated by limited opportunities at Celtic. The Frenchman has enjoyed just 885 minutes of first-team football this season [WhoScored?].

Out of contract in 2022, the former Genoa man Ntcham was actively looking for a move. A chance to improve Marseille’s fortunes and replace a fan favourite would’ve been tempting at any time. Let alone a window where Celtic were scrambling around to get anything done.

Late in the delayed summer window, Celtic had reportedly rejected permanent bids for the French midfielder [Scotsman]. In hindsight, that looks to have been a bad idea. Ntcham’s attitude and application during matches has been lacking.

A star of the 19-20 season to some degree, Ntcham at his best offers any team real thrust in the middle of the park, with an excellent range of passing and an eye for the spectacular. His goal against Lazio in last season’s Europa League was evidence of his ability to improvise in huge moments.

On his day, Ntcham is an entertaining player, but those days haven’t been regular enough. There’s obviously talent there. Watch in glum silence as that talent is utilised by a better team, whose league position belies their squad’s abilities [Sky Sports].

Here’s our review of Celtic’s January transfer window: a masterclass in frustration.