Celtic have insisted that midfielder Olivier Ntcham will not be sold in January and that any interest from prospective suitors will not be entertained.
Football Insider reported that the Hoops will not countenance the potential sale of the 23-year-old in the winter transfer window.
According to Football Insider, the club held discussions with the player’s representatives last week and made it clear that they would flatly reject any offers that might be made for him in January.
Football Insider claimed that Ntcham’s representatives wanted assurances from Celtic about his future at Parkhead.
Ntcham’s future at Celtic appeared to be in doubt earlier this year when he gave an interview to L’Equipe in which he said he was disappointed not to get a move to Porto in 2018 and said that he would “blossom” at Marseille.
The 23-year-old has bounced back from that episode to score four goals and set up another four in 22 games so far this season, including the stoppage time winner away to Lazio which sealed Celtic’s passage to the last 32 of the Europa League (as per BBC).
He needs just two more goals to match his return from last season, while he has already quadrupled his output of assists from 2018/19. [via TransferMarkt]
Despite those contributions, however, Ntcham is not a fixed presence in the Hoops’ line-up, having made just six starts in the Premiership and one in the Europa League group stage in the current campaign. [via TransferMarkt]
The attacking midfielder has been outshone by Ryan Christie, who in a similar role has scored 16 goals and set up another 10 so far this term, while central midfielder Scott Brown bagged his fifth goal of the season with the stoppage time winner against Hamilton on Wednesday night. Callum McGregor is also on five goals for the season.
Ntcham has also posted a lower passing success rate (74.6%) than the likes of Christie (80.7%), Brown (82.4%) and McGregor (90.9%) this term. [via WhoScored]
Ntcham deserves credit for winning back Lennon’s faith after his ill-judged L’Equipe interview in the summer, while he followed up his heroics against Lazio with a “clever, impactful, defensively strong and offensively creative” in the Europa League win over Rennes last week, in the words of BBC‘s Tom English.
Celtic’s refusal to consider any prospective bids for the Frenchman is therefore a sensible one, but with his goal return and passing metrics inferior to midfield team-mates Brown, Christie and McGregor, the 23-year-old could still do more to earn a more regular starting place at Parkhead.
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