By Alex McLeish

25th Sep, 2020 | 9:00pm

Exclusive: McLeish tips Celtic 24-yr-old talks with PL big guns: 'It's not going to be cheap'

Alex McLeish has tipped Neil Lennon to hold talks with Olivier Ntcham at Celtic as West Brom make a move to beat Southampton to his signing.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Scotland manager admits that the French midfielder has fallen down the pecking order and suggests the Bhoys could accept a bid if the price is right.

As revealed by Football Insider, West Brom are exploring the possibility of doing a loan-to-buy deal with the Hoops for the 24-year-old in a bid to beat Southampton to his capture.

This site has detailed how both Premier League sides are trying to land the Frenchman before October’s deadline and that the Hoops value him at around £12million.

Ntcham has made 55 appearances during Lennon’s time in charge but only 35 of those have come among the starting XI.

McLeish believes the midfielder could grow frustrated over his place in the squad and suggests that there will be sit down talks over a potential move away.

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McLeish told Football Insider: “Over the last year of so, Ntcham didn’t look as if he was as much involved as he would have liked in Neil’s reign. He was maybe more prevalent in Brendan Rodgers’ era.

“If it’s one that Neil can do without in his squad, then perhaps they’ll take a bid but it’s not going to be cheap, it’s not as if it’s here’s a wee bargain for you guys.

“If he’s not fitting into Neil’s plans – I know he played last night (v Riga) – but if he’s not fitting into Neil’s plans, the player himself will be frustrated if he’s not playing every week, he’ll be wanting to play.

“They would obviously, I would think, have a little meeting between the two of them behind the scenes if Celtic get the right bid for him.

“They’ll ramp it up a wee bit, they’ll maybe put a big fee on his head but one that has to be realistic and one if Ntcham really wants to go and doesn’t want to fight for his place, then I think he’s at that kind of level, fighting for his place.” 

In other Celtic news, two players have been told to “sort it out” in what is a “huge problem” for Lennon.