Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham has been linked to a loan move to the Premier League as Newcastle show interest in his services. According to Sky Sports’ Keith Downie, the Magpies are looking to get a deal over the line to acquire the Frenchman before the January transfer window slams shut.
Steve Bruce is looking to bolster his options in midfield and out of favour Ntcham is seemingly one of his top targets.
Although they are only looking to sign him temporarily, it could foreshadow the 24-year-old’s future, which looks like it will be away from Celtic Park.
Ntcham currently has just 18 months left on his current contract with the Bhoys and heading out on loan this month could suggest that a permanent move is on the horizon.
The France youth international has slipped down the pecking order this season after Neil Lennon took a punt on promoting Ismaila Soro to the first team. Along with David Turnbull, the midfielder has seriously impressed since he was given his chance, even usurping Scott Brown on more than one occasion.
According to Transfermarkt, Ntcham has missed out on Celtic’s last eight Premiership fixtures. Although he missed two matches through self-isolation, Lennon has dropped him from his usual role in the team.
As a midfielder who can sit back but also contribute to the attack, he should be one of the first names on the team-sheet. However, his 2020/21 season has left a lot to be desired.
Ntcham has just one goal and two assists across competitions so far. Even in games where Lennon deployed him as a centre-forward, he has struggled to make an impact.
Should he move to Newcastle for the last half of the season, Ntcham will likely be gaining a lot more game time than he is right now.
As he continues to stay out favour under Lennon, a permanent transfer could become a priority for him. Although the boss has waxed lyrical about the midfield man – recently lauding him as one “hell of a player” – Ntcham’s lack of game time is a glaring hint that he could end up moving on from Celtic in the very near future.