Marseille are set to begin their new era under Andre Villas-Boas by recruiting export Olivier Ntcham from Celtic in the coming weeks. The powerful midfield engine has played for France at every stage except senior level. He has been with the Hoops since 2017.
Ntcham left minnows Le Havre in 2012 to join Manchester City for around £800k after refusing to sign a professional contract with the club.
He would never play for the Citizens, although being labelled ‘The next Pogba’ by the Guardian, and was sent on a two-year loan to Genoa in 2015.
He didn’t set the world alight in Italy, playing in a deeper role and scoring just three goals in 37 league appearances. Genoa didn’t revoke his option to buy and returned to City.
At 5″9, the Frenchman is deceivingly quick and deceptive with both explosive pace and strength. This is what interested Brendan Rodgers north of the border.
The Glaswegians paid a measly £4.5m for the powerhouse after their historic invincibles campaign, and he scored a vital goal in a 1-0 win over Partick Thistle in the August of 2017.
Ntcham went on to have a great first season with the Hoops again, winning their second treble of their historic treble-treble. He managed nine goals in 47 matches in all of 2017/18.
This season it’s not quite been as rosy, but his strength in creativity has shone through clearly to the side in Stade Velodrome.
He bagged five in 35 with 2 assists, after a difficult three months injury after the 1-0 loss to Rangers in December.
Whether Ntcham is ready for a move to Ligue 1 this summer is questionable, but realistically he is destined for bigger things than the Scottish league.
Celtic would be looking at £8-9m profit though, so whether Lennon fancies him for his side next season could be out of his hands.