Noel Whelan has encouraged Celtic to agree on a swap deal between Olivier Ntcham and Fraser Forster with Southampton this summer.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Aberdeen and Leeds United striker urged Neil Lennon to make a deal for Forster, 32, his top priority in the upcoming window.

The goalkeeper’s season-long loan deal has ended after the SPFL announced last week that the Scottish Premiership would follow the lower leagues in being curtailed.

Football Insider understands the Hoops have slapped a £12million valuation on Ntcham, nearly three times what they paid for his services in 2017.

It was revealed yesterday by this site that Southampton have set their sights on a summer deal for the former France under-21 international.

When asked by Football Insider if the club should pursue the possibility of swapping Ntcham for Forster, Whelan said: “I think that would be a good deal.

“Forster has had a fantastic time up there. You could see how important and influential he was to Celtic last season.

“It is very difficult to find goalkeepers like Forster. There are not many out there who have that experience and that presence but he is one of them.

“I would be open to that swap deal. It is crucial that Celtic cover that base.

“I am sure there are plenty of Premier League clubs that have seen his performances last season. I even think he was close to an England call up again.

“It is also clear that he loves the club.”

Forster, who kept 17 clean sheets in 39 appearances last season, has two years left on his contract at St. Mary’s.

Neil Lennon will be in desperate need of a goalkeeper this summer with last season’s second choice, Craig Gordon, out of contract in five days.

In other Celtic news, Noel Whelan has tipped the Hoops to complete Sinclair-style transfer.