Olivier Ntcham has been offered a surprise Celtic escape route by Greek side AEK Athens, as reported by The Scottish Sun.
The Lowdown: Disastrous 12 months for Ntcham
Ntcham hasn’t had an easy ride of things in the last year or so. In a sparkling 2019/20 campaign at Parkhead, he registered 12 goal contributions in 39 outings [Transfermarkt].
Linked with moves away around that time to Porto and Marseille, Ex-Celt John Collins pleaded for Celtic to keep the playmaker; stating “Olivier is an excellent player and I’d be sad to see him leave Scottish football that’s for sure.”
Fast forward to 2020/21, the midfielder suddenly started finding his opportunities limited under former Hoops manager Neil Lennon. Only starting 11 fixtures [Transfermarkt], the 25-year-old was loaned in January 2021 to Ligue 1 outfit Marseille in order to obtain first team football [Daily Record].
The Latest: Glasgow return could be short lived
A benchwarmer on loan in France, the former French youth international is now scheduled to return to Glasgow this summer.
AEK Athens are now firmly believed to be focused on signing Ntcham. His current deal with Celtic is set to expire in summer 2022 [Transfermarkt].
The Athenians are willing to offer him nearly £20,000 per week to move to Greece [The Scottish Sun].
More importantly for the Hoops though, they will offer an immediate fee for his signature, quite the relief considering the club was considering terminating his contract and losing him for nothing, but could now sell and boost their own transfer kitty.
Verdict: Good business for Celtic, AEK and Ntcham
Fundamentally, this could represent good business for both Celtic and AEK Athens. Though mercurially talented, Ntcham has been a peripheral figure at Parkhead for quite some time, and it feels like a win-win-win to grant the Hoops a fee for his services, AEK a quality player with age on his side, and Ntcham himself a fresh start.
Receiving a decent sum of money for his services could go a long way to kickstarting a much needed reconstruction of a fragmented Celtic side, as they look to reinforce a squad that finished miles behind Rangers last season.
In other news, Alan Brazil has had his say on a new potential Celtic appointment.
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