Why Celtic should keep hold of Olivier Ntcham amidst Porto interest
According to a report in Scottish Sun, Portuguese side FC Porto will test Scottish champions Celtic’s resolve with a £14m January bid for Olivier Ntcham. The former are prepared to offer ex-Newcastle defender Chancel Mbemba as a makeweight in the deal.
Porto boss Sergio Conceicao is a huge admirer of the Hoops star, who arrived at Parkhead in 2017 from Manchester City for £4.5m. He wanted the Frenchman last summer but couldn’t entice the player to move away from a club that had just won another treble (h/t Scottish Sun).
Now, the gaffer is ready to offer a cash-plus-player deal to Brendan Rodgers’ men, in order to convince the Scottish giants to sell the 22-year-old (h/t Scottish Sun).
Here’s why Celtic should keep hold of the central midfielder amidst the interest from Porto:
Ntcham is a key player for Celtic
Predominantly a central midfielder, the Frenchman can operate as a defensive midfielder or as an attacking midfielder, and Rodgers use him in different positions as per requirement. Hence, the 22-year-old is a versatile asset in the squad, who is key in several situations.
In a season that is destined to go down to the wire for the Scottish champions, they cannot afford to lose players like Ntcham mid-season. Celtic are currently leading the table in the league but their rivals Rangers are equal on points at second place and just behind on goal difference.
The Hoops will have their Europa League campaign restarted next month, with a tricky last-32 tie against Valencia awaiting.
The Scottish Cup is set to start as well this weekend, keeping Rodgers’ men busy on all fronts. Hence, if the Parkhead-based team intend to win most trophies on offer, Ntcham is destined to play an important role.
The Frenchman has had a decent season so far, scoring six goals and supplying an assist in 30 appearances in all competitions. His qualities on and off the ball are of the high order and that help the team to be solid and creative in the midfield. He possesses the physicality and height (180cm) to be a genuine threat from set-pieces.
As mentioned above, the versatility of the player is such that he is a manager’s dream. Celtic should keep hold of their key asset and aim to challenge on all fronts in the coming months of this season.