Exclusive: Southampton set sights on signing Celtic player not always in XI

Southampton have set their sights on a summer deal for Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham, Football Insider understands.

The Premier League club are keen on the Frenchman, 24, amid doubts over the future of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

A Saints source has told Football Insider that Ntcham is firmly on their radar and there is hope he could be attracted by a move to an established Premier League club.

The former France Under-21 international has been a key man in Celtic’s domination of Scottish football since his £4.5million transfer from Man City in 2017.

But he is not a nailed-on starter in Neil Lennon’s side despite his high level of technical ability and impressive scoring and creating record.

The midfielder’s future has been up in the air for some time since he lost his regular starting role in 2018-19 – his second season at Parkhead – and went public with his frustration at Scottish football.

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Football Insider broke the news that Celtic blocked Ntcham from quitting in the January window amid interest from leading European clubs.

He has two years remaining on his Hoops contract and the club may be willing to listen to offers this summer.

Ntcham has started 17 of Celtic’s SPL matches in the just-terminated campaign among 38 appearances in all competitions.

Since signing for the Glasgow giants, he has made 123 appearances that have yielded 23 goals and 11 assists.

In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED that the club have been tipped to seal Frimpong-style deal from West Ham after offer.