By Alex McLeish

20th Jul, 2021 | 4:00pm

Ex-manager suggests new Celtic contract for Ntcham after 'surprise' twist

Alex McLeish has suggested Olivier Ntcham is at a “good crossroads” after returning to the Celtic first team under Ange Postecoglou.

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 25-year-old could be offered a new contract if he impresses this upcoming season.

As quoted by the Daily Record (July 10th), Postecoglou revealed Ntcham had told him he wanted to return to Parkhead to “make an impression”.

However, as confirmed on Uefa’s website, the Frenchman is missing from the squad to face FC Midtjylland on Tuesday.

Postecoglou had suggested the midfielder was lacking match fitness prior to the squad announcement.

McLeish admitted he thought Ntcham would have left Parkhead after moving to Marseille on loan in January.

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However, he suggested a new contract or a free transfer to a top club could be on the cards with a good season.

“I am surprised he has not gone anywhere else,” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“Whether the right move never happened for him and he knows he’s not going to go anywhere that he doesn’t think is enough of a match to Celtic.

“Let’s not forget the form he showed a couple of years ago. The evidence is there that he’s a good player. A clean slate under Postecoglou and it’s up to him to impress the head coach and his assistants in pre-season.

“That is down to him. Can he get back to the form of a couple of years ago? That’s the key. It could be a good crossroads for him.

“If he has a great season then it’s going be hard for Celtic to not lose him. If he really impresses, there were teams watching him, let’s face it. Marseille were obviously in there.

“He’s got to be getting back to his best form for two reasons. To either get a new contract or leaving on a high as a free transfer.

“Possibly a club in England or the French league. They’re obviously looking at him in Europe.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire claims UEFA have handed Celtic multi-million advantage over Rangers as £13million guaranteed.