The January transfer window in Scotland had been closed for less than 24 hours when The Sun reported that Celtic were set to face a fight to keep Olivier Ntcham in the summer amid interest from Southampton.
It was suggested by The Sun that Ntcham would welcome a move with the Saints making contact with the Hoops before the end of last month.
Celtic fans may have already accepted the fact that Ntcham was always likely to move on at some stage. But it may still prove a disappointment should they lose him this summer.
However, selling Ntcham to Southampton could perhaps prove to be the best outcome for Celtic should they become resigned to the idea of letting the Frenchman leave at the end of the season.
The two clubs are, of course, no strangers to each other.
Southampton have signed the likes of Fraser Forster, Victor Wanyama, Virgil van Dijk and Stuart Armstrong from Celtic in the past.
Meanwhile, Forster returned to Parkhead on loan in the summer, while Mohamed Elyounoussi made the same move during that window.
Forster has certainly been a very welcome addition to the Hoops side. The England international has produced some colossal performances, with one particular display prompting many to name this season’s League Cup final after him.
Elyounoussi has also made an impact. The winger’s time on the pitch has been restricted by injury, but he has managed to score seven goals in all competitions since making the switch.
With that in mind, perhaps Celtic should look to ensure that one or both men are included in the deal that could potentially see Ntcham join Southampton.
Signing Forster and Elyounoussi on a permanent basis would be a big statement from the Bhoys. Spotrac shows that the goalkeeper earns £70,000-a-week at St Mary’s, while the Norwegian is on £60,000-a-week.
And their stock has risen since they joined the Hoops. So keeping them beyond this campaign could prove to be an inspired move from Neil Lennon’s men.
It would be a big blow to lose Ntcham at the end of the season. But if Southampton are going to make a move, Celtic should be prepared to make some hefty demands.