Exclusive: Celtic told not to sell Ntcham amid big transfer update

Alex Bruce has urged Celtic not to sell Oliver Ntcham to raise funds to sign Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy. 

The former Premier League defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insisted the French midfielder is still a “valuable asset” for Neil Lennon’s men.

Glasgow-born McCarthy is believed to be a big Celtic fan and because of this the Hoops are confident they can win the race for his signature, according to 90Min.

With Brown, McGregor, Ntcham, Christie, Rogic and Soro all vying for midfield positions, it seems likely that Celtic may look to offload someone if McCarthy does become available.

Ntcham made 23 league appearances for the Hoops last term, scoring four and setting up two and Bruce believes he still has a part to play at Celtic Park.

“I don’t think it’ll be massive money with the age he’s at. I can’t see Palace asking for an astronomical fee”, Bruce told Football Insider.

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“I do believe Celtic need to keep hold of Ntcham because he’s a very good player and he’d proved in his performances towards the end of the season that he can be a valuable asset, I’m sure he’ll be someone they’ll want to keep hold of as well.”

McCarthy completed his switch to Selhurst Park for £8million from Everton last summer. He impressed during a disappointing season for Roy Hodgson’s side, shaking of his previous injury concerns to rack up 35 appearances in all competitions.

The Bhoys are looking to secure a historic 10th consecutive title this term and could soon have a new signing in their ranks.

Albian Ajeti is primed to jet in from his Italian holiday retreat to sign for Celtic after a fee was agreed with West HamFootball Insider understands.

In other Celtic news, Lennon has been tipped to axe a star who started v Hamilton in a “harsh” move.