Report: Olivier Ntcham to head back to Celtic; Marseille not interested in permanent move

By David Walton

March 27, 2021

Olivier Ntcham will head back to Celtic at the end of the season with Marseille uninterested in securing him permanently, La Provence reports.

The French newspaper states that the Ligue 1 side is looking to improve its midfield in the summer. They’re said to be eyeing up Toulouse central midfielder Amine Adli instead.

Marseille sporting director, Pablo Longoria, has already been to Toulouse to visit the Ntcham alternative. Coincidentally, Adli is also a teammate of Celtic loan star Vakoun Bayo, who’s spending the season with the Ligue 2 club.

And La Provence believes that Longoria isn’t satisfied with what Ntcham has been producing. Therefore, a move back to Glasgow in the summer is taking shape.

That’s a massive concern for Celtic. There was a reported £8.8million option-to-buy clause in the Marseille loan agreement [France Football]. Now, however, he looks set to return with only a year left on his contract.

Olivier Ntcham has failed to bolster his Celtic valuation with Marseille

£8.8m given what Ntcham has failed to give to this club over the last two years would’ve been incredible business. But it was always going to take a monumental effort to get the Ligue 1 side to pay that.

After all, his signing led to the resignation of popular manager Andre Villas-Boas. It was always going to be an uphill struggle from there, and things weren’t helped when Marseille fans dug out images of him expressing his support for PSG.

From that point on, he had to make a superb impression on the pitch. The truth is Ntcham has also failed to do that too. He’s started four games for the club, and in all of them he’s been subbed off at half-time [Transfermarkt].

Olivier Ntcham in action for Marseille (Photo by ROMAIN PERROCHEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Now, all of a sudden, he only has eight fixtures remaining this season to make an impression. Even if he was to impress all eight, it now feels far too late for him to change minds. Especially for such a heavy valuation on a player entering the final 12 months of his contract.

Ntcham coming back to Parkhead will please many. The truth is it’s not something to be jumping and down about. He’s already outlined his desire to quit Scottish football. And given he’s not impressed for some time, his value will be at rock bottom.

His swift departure this summer looks a certainty. But it won’t be for big money after his move to France has turned sour quickly.

In other news, Celtic have provided a class Saturday update as Barkas and Johnston step up their recoveries.