What the French media are saying about Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham after day of drama

By John McGinley

February 3, 2021

More details have emerged about the controversial Olivier Ntcham move from Celtic to Marseille on Monday and Tuesday.

Today, French sports newspaper L’Equipe devoted their front-page coverage to the saga involving the Ligue 1 side, Andre Villas-Boas and Ntcham.

Villas-Boas has been sacked as a result of it all, after slamming the club’s decision to sign Ntcham without his permission.

He had made it expressly clear to reporters that Ntcham was unwanted.

L’Equipe compares the Celtic midfielder’s situation to that of Matheus Doria, who arrived at OM in similar circumstances back in 2014.

Then though, the Brazilian defender had to work with the coach who wasn’t happy with his signature, Marcelo Bielsa.

The paper says that Ntcham can count himself lucky he at least won’t have to progress under a manager who doesn’t want him.

How did Olivier Ntcham react to the drama?

L’Equipe (03/02 print edition, page 5) have also reported more details of how the day panned out for Ntcham.

They say the midfielder never spoke to Villas-Boas prior to his arrival and only found out about the Portuguese’s displeasure with the deal when he was conducting his medical.

His phone lit up with texts as his new manager was giving the now notorious press conference. Ntcham was surprised, of course.

Talks were quickly held between Ntcham and Sporting Director Pablo Longoria yesterday afternoon, though there was said to be no tension. L’Equipe says he recognises the issues at the club go well beyond him.

The Celtic midfielder is reported by the outlet to remain resolute in his determination to impress at his new club.

Fitness could be an issue on that front given he hasn’t started for Celtic since November.

Olivier Ntcham in action for Celtic against St Johnstone / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Despite all the noise, the midfielder was in a chirpy enough mood on social media last night as he said hello to OM and goodbye to Celtic.

It’ll be fascinating to see how he now gets on in Ligue 1.

The French club have an option to buy the midfielder, who could return to Celtic in the summer with a year left on his contract.

In other news, Cameron Harper is on the verge of a club exit.