Celtic have set their stall out by slapping a a huge transfer fee on a player that is far from a guaranteed starter despite being linked with a move to Premier League side Southampton.
A report in Football Insider, claims that the Hoops value Olivier Ntcham at £12million – almost three times the £4.5m paid to Manchester City in 2017 – despite the current financial crisis facing many clubs in football.
The valuation represents a clever move by Celtic knowing that Southampton are short of money and that they have two players who Neil Lennon wants to see back at Parkhead in Fraser Forster and Mohamed Elyounoussi – knocking £12m off the combined asking price would be a great move if it can be pulled off.
Ntcham’s form did improve after Lennon switched formation to a 3-5-2 with the Frenchman thriving in the number ten role, however, the gaffer knows that he can sacrifice the 24-year old for the greater good with both Ryan Christie and Tom Rogic just as capable in the position without weakening his line-up.
Although Lennon will be reluctant to let him go, given his obvious quality, the fact that he has been close to leaving on a few occasions and last summer claimed that he was too good for Scottish football, the writing has been on the wall for some time.
Even if Celtic are aiming high and the two clubs meet somewhere in the middle, they still stand to at least double their money, another example that the recruitment team is one of the finest in the country and an asset that Hoops fans should be proud of.