John Collins has told the Daily Record that Celtic should do all they can to keep Olivier Ntcham this summer, amid reported interest from Premier League side Southampton.
Southampton have been linked with a number of Celtic stars and have used the Scottish champions as a source of talent in recent years – with Virgil van Dijk, Stuart Armstrong, Victor Wanyama and Fraser Forster all making the move.
Now, 24-year-old Ntcham could take that figure to five players to have left Celtic in recent years and join Southampton. The Daily Record claim £4.5million signing Ntcham is a target for the Saints, after clocking up a whopping 123 games for Celtic.
Celtic icon Collins spoke out about Ntcham’s future, who has been linked with a return to his home country and even Portuguese side Porto in the past. He thinks keeping the former Manchester City midfielder is crucial this summer.
“Olivier’s an excellent player and I’d be sad to see him leave Scottish football, that’s for sure,” Collins said. “It’ll come down to the manager’s decision but he’s a very good footballer, he’s in a high bracket and obviously you’d want to keep him.
“The argument that he needs to move to a top league to develop his potential isn’t accurate. There’s no doubt that whoever gets Ntcham is getting a top, top player. If he does leave, then it’s not good. But whoever gets him will discover just how good he is.”
TBR’s view – Should Celtic cash in, or keep Ntcham?
Right now, Ntcham is hardly first choice. Ryan Christie’s incredible breakthrough over the past couple of seasons has pushed Ntcham down the pecking order – while Scott Brown and Callum McGregor remain first choice.
That is Celtic’s best midfield, but Ntcham is certainly first reserve. Arguably, Ntcham is more suited to European football rather than the fast-paced, physical Scottish game. If Celtic receive a decent offer for Ntcham, he should be sold.