A number of Celtic fans have taken to Twitter to comment on the Scottish Sun report suggesting the Hoops could potentially work out a swap or part-exchange deal with Southampton involving Fraser Forster and Olivier Ntcham.
Forster has been on Southampton’s books since the summer of 2014, when he left Parkhead for St Mary’s in a £10million deal (BBC Sport), and has made 125 appearances for the Saints, but fell out of favour under both Mark Hughes and then Ralph Hasenhuttl.
However, Forster’s loan switch back to Celtic has proven a new lease of life for his career, with 39 appearances for Neil Lennon’s side this term prior to the shutdown, and numerous superb performances and saves, in particular his masterclasses against Lazio at Celtic Park and against Rangers in the Scottish League Cup final.
The Scottish Sun claims that Southampton want Celtic’s Olivier Ntcham to replace captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who has been linked with a move away, and while the Bhoys are reportedly prepared to let him leave, they could also look to do a deal which would see Forster return to the club on a long-term contract.
From a financial perspective, Celtic would have struggled to buy Forster outright on top of being able to pay him close to his reported £90,000-a-week wages, but with Southampton potentially wanting to sign Ntcham, that could see a huge reduction in any transfer fee for Forster – or indeed the Saints doing the paying.
Forster would most likely have to accept a wage reduction, but given Ntcham’s departure would free up £35,000-a-week, this would also be a boost for Celtic in terms of how much they could offer the Englishman.
What have Celtic fans on social media made of the report? Below is some of the reaction:
I’d rather keep Ntcham and also just add Ely & FF aswel. Don’t see why not. Ntcham is one of the best midfielders in Scotland on his game.
— S L (@ess0411) May 26, 2020
I’d rather keep Ntcham and buy Forster . Elyounoussi seems to be made of glass . Mikey Johnstone will be huge for us in the Moi position for us in future . I’d rather spend elsewhere .
— KennyNumber4 (@KennyNineInARow) May 26, 2020
Swap deals for a player who’s on loan just means you’ll come out it weaker regardless. Elyounoussi on loan, Forster permanently, Ntcham staying another year please
— michael* ⛵️ (@VLR) May 26, 2020
Signing Forster is a no brained if the opportunity arrives. But you’d be off yer nut to sell ntcham right now.
— Marty Vanucci (@martydeila) May 26, 2020
Southampton want Ntcham?
£10 million plus Forster & you’ve got a deal ✅
— Dale Michael McGovern?? (@DaleMMcGovern) May 25, 2020
Most important job on the pitch is the goalkeeper.
Forster is an exceptional player.
Whatever it takes to keep him will be a good move.
— TheTributeAct (@TheTributeAct) May 26, 2020
Nope Ntcham is class. We need to keep him and play him more. We should buy Forster outright and let Elyounoussi go as he is not up to scratch
— Coddy (@coddy84) May 26, 2020