Celtic have told Olivier Ntcham they will not let him leave the club in the January window, Football Insider can reveal.
The French midfielder, 23, went public in the summer with his frustration at Scottish football and expressed disappointment at not joining one of his European suitors.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that the club held talks with Ntcham’s representatives last week and made it clear they would reject an offers for him in January.
The Scottish champions also explained the midfielder is integral to the club’s title bid as well as their pursuit of a third consecutive domestic treble.
Celtic’s move to block the exit for Ntcham seemingly ends any hope he may have had of a mid-season transfer.
The crunch talks came as the player’s agents sought clarification on his future following interest from Marseille in the summer as well as Porto in the past.
Ntcham dropped the bombshell that Scottish football is not challenging enough, which did not go down well with manager Neil Lennon, who slammed his “mindset and his attitude towards the club”.
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.
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.
He has made 22 appearances this season but has been in and out of the side, starting just six of Celtic’s 16 league matches to date.
Ntcham started last night’s 2-1 win over Hamilton, but was taken off after 59 minutes and has completed 90 minutes only once in the league this season.