Jackie McNamara has claimed Celtic may cash in on Olivier Ntcham this summer after a dramatic drop in performances in his second campaign.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Hoops legend claimed Ntcham, 23, “looked a fantastic midfielder” after signing from Manchester City for £4.5million in the summer of 2017.
But McNamara suggested the Frenchman has become unsettled in Glasgow and this has been reflected in a mediocre campaign in which he’s lost his regular starting role.
Porto have a long-standing interest in Ntcham and could make a fresh swoop this summer after the Scottish Sun reported a £14million bid in January.
“I think last year he did really well, he came into it, he looked a fantastic midfielder. This year he’s tailed off and the last few games – I watched the game last week – he didn’t look sharp or on it in the game fitness wise.
“Maybe it’s second season syndrome, sometimes a player comes in, the first season they’re incredible, the second year, it usually happens with the younger ones… Whether or not he can regain his form next year, if he’s still there – that’s the big thing.”
Asked if Celtic should cash in on Ntcham this summer, McNamara suggested the timing could be right.
“I don’t see why not,” he told Football Insider. “You want the best players playing at their peak, that might be why he was linked to a move in January and didn’t happen – maybe wait till the summer and that might be in the back of his mind as well.
“Obviously when you go and watch the games on a Saturday – behind the scenes there’s so much (that) goes on that the fans don’t know, with individuals maybe wanting to leave, family problems, not settled here in the country – they just see it on a match day and as I said we’ll see what happens with him in the summer.”
Ntcham signed a new Celtic contract last November that ties him to the club until the summer of 2022.
In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED that the club have made an approach to sign a left-sided flyer and he wants to join.