Another day, another development in the Olivier Ntcham saga.
This time, it’s the fact that West Ham are reportedly set to announce the signing of Pablo Fornals “in the coming days” (AS). So how does that have an effect on Ntcham to Marseille?
Well, West Ham were also reportedly keen on Marseille’s Morgan Sanson (Daily Record). The Record also stated that Marseille need to rake in big money before being able to afford Ntcham. Fornals, however, is a similar type of player, and that could therefore cool interest in Sansone.
But even so, have Celtic already shown how disposable they feel the Frenchman is?
The club were reportedly happy to offer Ntcham to Bournemouth in an attempt to bring Lys Mousset to Celtic (Daily Mail). If that report is true, then the club have already shown Ntcham what they think of him.
It’s no secret either that the midfielder has started unfollowing Celtic players on social media. It’s a tad immature and comes across as though Ntcham has taken the huff at something. Even when footballers move clubs, they often continue to follow former team-mates on social media regardless. The fact Ntcham has made the effort to remove Celtic stars is odd.
Celtic could still sell
So even if Marseille can’t put a bid forward, Celtic would still appear open to allowing Ntcham to leave. Sure, the Hoops may be charging top dollar, and quite right too. He’s under contract until 2022 (Transfermarkt), and is still a talented individual. France Football reports him at being valued between €15m and €17m.
It would be interesting to know whether Ntcham’s social media activity was a reaction to the swap deal. There are no official connections there that can be confirmed, however.
But it doesn’t look as though Celtic are overly-keen on keeping the Frenchman. One of the well-known put-offs for a player is knowing that you aren’t overly-wanted at a club. Should Ntcham be feeling that at Parkhead, then it won’t exactly calm speculation of his potential departure.
If the Mail’s report is true, we’ve shown our hand. If we thought Ntcham looked disinterested last year, then he likely wouldn’t look any better after being offered away.
The best thing Celtic could do if that’s the case is sell him. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, and Ntcham and the Celtic management team can sit down and discuss things between them.
But for now, things are starting to look strained. It’s a case of watch this space at this point.