By Wayne Veysey
Celtic are convinced midfielder Olivier Ntcham is trying to engineer an exit from the club before the transfer window shuts, Football Insider understands.
The 23-year-old French midfielder went public this week with his disappointment at not joining Porto last summer and revealed how flattered he is to be linked with Marseille.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that they believe Ntcham’s comments are part of a clear strategy aimed at pushing them into selling him by the end of next month.
This comes after Football Insider revealed a month ago that Ntcham had told his inner circle he is looking for one and is hopeful of getting one this window.
The Frenchman, 23, is unsettled in Scotland and is keen to either return to his homeland or head to a leading team on the Continent, including Marseille.
Ntcham has also claimed Scottish football is not challenging enough, which has not gone down well with manager Neil Lennon, who “will be speaking to him about his mindset and his attitude towards the club as well”.
Celtic are expecting further attempts from Ntcham to extricate himself from Parkhead in the coming weeks.
Ntcham has reportedly been valued at between £12-14million by Celtic but Football Insider has been told the club accept £7million is a more realistic valuation of the player.
He was recruited from Manchester City for £4.5million in the summer of 2017 and that looked a bargain fee in an impressive debut campaign alongside Scott Brown in central midfield.
But the Frenchman lost his regular starting place last season and was regularly omitted from the team for marquee fixtures, by both Lennon and ex-boss Brendan Rodgers.