West Ham could sign one of their mooted transfer targets for nothing this summer, if emerging claims are to be believed…
Last summer, 90min reported that the Irons were one of several teams eyeing a move for Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham, whilst over a year ago, it was thought that the two were in advanced talks over a transfer, as per Foot Mercato.
The 25-year-old joined Ligue 1 outfit Marseille during the January transfer window after they failed to secure Hammers star Manuel Lanzini, according to The Sun’s Alan Nixon.
It appears that his future at Parkhead is in serious doubt, if not already over. Celtic are set to terminate his contract a year early, meaning he would be available on a free transfer this summer.
And now it has been revealed by the ever-reliable ExWHUemployee that the Frenchman is represented by a familiar figure, Will Salthouse, who also has the likes of Michail Antonio, Aaron Cresswell, Craig Dawson and Ryan Fredericks on his books.
Now that the season is done and dusted, and the unthinkable has been achieved, it’s time for David Moyes and the club’s hierarchy to move on with plans ahead of the summer transfer window.
The 58-year-old has transformed the East Londoners from firm relegation candidates to sealing a place in Europe in the space of just one year.
However, if the Irons go into battle next season as they are, they could well struggle due to the lack of rotation options at Moyes’ disposal.
For instance, the Scotsman is just one injury to Michail Antonio away from not having a senior striker and this is a similar case right across the squad, with the Hammers lacking depth in midfield and in defence.
If Ntcham is available for nothing, then it could be a very shrewd decision to swoop for him, especially given his ties to a reliable figure in Salthouse.
Things have not gone to plan for the Bhoys midfielder at Marseille, where he has averaged an abysmal rating of 6.13, whilst L’Equipe rated one of his performances a brutal 3/10 back in March (via The Sun).
But, truth be told, his stint at the Stade Velodrome was hampered from the minute he walked through the door as then-manager Andre Villas-Boas resigned because he did not want the player.
It wasn’t too long ago that Ntcham was being touted as a £7m target for Premier League teams, whilst current Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has always been a fan of his, having described him as a “terrific talent” in 2018.
Even Neil Lennon lauded him as “one hell of a player” during his time in charge of the Glasgow giants, so to get him for nothing would be a steal.
Another body in midfield is certainly needed this summer as next season will be Mark Noble’s final campaign in the claret and blue, with Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice the only other two out-and-out central options available to Moyes.
Ntcham won’t be expected to pull up many trees but is surely a worthwhile candidate to consider. He’s set to be available for nothing and Salthouse could well do GSB a major favour.