This one was inevitable. It was only a matter of time before Olivier Ntcham was linked with a move away from Celtic and his goal against Rosenborg on Wednesday appears to have ignited the speculation.
French outlet L’Equipe reported this morning that West Ham United are interested in signing him this summer, even making initial enquiries this week about a move to the London Stadium.
Reports linking Celtic’s best players with a move away are nothing new in the Brendan Rodgers era. How many times have we seen the likes of Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney apparently ‘on the verge’ of a Hoops exit.
Ntcham’s situation to those two is very similar. He’s on a long-term contract, he is still developing as a player, he has a sensible head on his shoulders and he is enjoying his football under Brendan Rodgers.
Will there come a time when he leaves the club? That’s hard to deny, but it won’t be this summer unless West Ham are willing to cough up a fee that Celtic can’t refuse, north of say £20m, and that may be a conservative sum to many supporters.
We have the financial footing to knock-back offers we never would have before and while the player remains happy, we are unlikely to sell. Everyone thought Dembele would be away 18 months ago, then a year ago, then six months ago and now he is set to enter his third season. Ntcham is surely following that path.
It’s been clear for a number of months now that he is well on his way to becoming the most effective player in Brendan Rodgers’ starting eleven and we can’t wait to see what he can offer over the next year or so.
Are you worried about Olivier Ntcham leaving this summer? Let us know in the comments…