Celtic have a well-established model of signing young players and selling them on for a profit. It can often be tough for the club to decide when to sell, but Olivier Ntcham has given the clearest indication yet that his time is now.
The Daily Record have reported that Ntcham has announced he wants to leave the club, following rumours of a move to Marseille and being frustrated a switch to Porto fell through last season. They also state he feels he would develop better by playing in a different league.
“Celtic has given me a lot, but it’s the best solution for my development. We can do as many matches as we want but, with all due respect for my opponents, if the level in front is not high, you do not progress,” he is quoted as saying.
“I was really disappointed not to have gone to Porto last summer.
“What could be the perfect stage for me? A big championship: Germany, France, Spain – coming back to France would be something very, very good.”
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There was no indication given of the likely fee at this point, but The Sun reported back in June that Celtic were looking for offers of around £12m. This would still represent a sizeable profit, given the BBC reported his signing at the time was for around £4.5m.
Although the news initially comes as a blow, Celtic fans may be happy to cash in given the player’s unhappiness and the other options currently in the squad.
It’s not even clear if Ntcham would be first choice going into the season, given the form of Scott Brown and Callum McGregor last season and Tom Rogic often occupying the number 10 role.
The BBC reported a four-year deal at the time of his signing, so given he’s unlikely to extend his contract, Neil Lennon may just decide to let him go and take the money.