Some Celtic fans have this afternoon been reacting to the news that Olivier Ntcham is reportedly in “advanced talks” with West Ham regarding a deal.

According to a report from FootMercarto, the midfielder is in discussions with the English Premier League side. With former Celtic manager David Moyes in charge, he’ll be well aware of what Ntcham can offer.

West Ham United manager and former Celtic defender David Moyes

West Ham United manager and former Celtic defender David Moyes (Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United FC via Getty Images)

The report doesn’t reveal a valuation for his services or indeed what the offer was that West Ham put forward to Celtic. However, they also state that West Ham have another option in Pape Cheikh Diop, who’s also a central midfielder.

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Sections of the Celtic support have already been reacting to the news on social media. Here’s a look at what some of them are saying:

 

A move that can’t be sanctioned

If Ntcham were to depart, you could question the validity of whether Celtic would’ve strengthened in the transfer window. Just because Ismaila Soro has arrived doesn’t mean that we should be letting Ntcham leave. He’s been worth every penny of the £4.5m we splashed out for him back in the summer of 2017 (BBC).

Interestingly, West Ham have this afternoon announced the signing of another midfielder, Tomas Soucek. That could perhaps be a boot for us if they’re only looking to bring in one central midfielder.

Of course, your mind also reflects back to what happened with the Frenchman in the summer. After telling L’Equipe that he was fancying a move from Parkhead, Neil Lennon had discussions with him and soothed things over (Daily Record).

Olivier Ntcham playing in Rome

Olivier Ntcham playing in Rome (Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

We don’t really know how those discussions went outside of Lennon telling us everything had effectively been sorted. It’s not inconceivable that he would perhaps have been allowed to leave this month when we signed a replacement (Soro). That’s just me speculating of course.

The truth is if we sold Ntcham, who has four goals and five assists in 31 appearances (Transfermarkt), we would once again be lacking cover in central midfield. Take him out of the equation and we then only have Scott Brown, Callum McGregor, and Soro available for engine-room cover. Nir Bitton is available, but pushing him forwards is a step backward.

Hopefully, this ends up being nothing. If Celtic and Ntcham are to part ways, it will hopefully only happen at the end of the season. Now isn’t the time to be selling our higher-quality players.

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