Alan Hutton has admitted he is baffled as Olivier Ntcham looks set to return to Celtic this summer.
The former Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, branded the midfielder’s loan to Marseille “the strangest transfer of all time”.
As reported by French publication La Provence, Marseille are not planning on triggering their purchase clause for the 25-year-old.
He moved back to his native France back in January after falling firmly out of favour under Neil Lennon.
However, his arrival at Marseille saw then-manager Andre Villas-Boas launch a verbal tirade against the club’s transfer policy.
The Portuguese boss was suspended and eventually sacked by the board at the Stade Velodrome.
Ntcham has started just two league games in five appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit so far.
Hutton insisted he thought Ntcham still had something to offer Celtic but admitted fans might not welcome him back.
Hutton told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “This could be the strangest transfer of all time. He moved to Marseille, Villas-Boas leaves – I mean it’s just crazy. I genuinely don’t get it.
“I still like him as a player, I think he’s got a lot to offer. So, when he did leave, I felt they were getting rid of a very good player but ultimately it kind of fell down to the player as if he wanted to go.
“I always think that it’s difficult to then come back because how are the fans going to take to you? You wanted to leave the club at a bad time. They were going through a bit of a bad time and you jumped ship and you wanted to leave. I always think that’s going to be hard to overcome.
“I think a lot of these players are kind of going to be in the same boat, the likes of Griffiths, Ntcham, if he comes back.
“There’s going to be a new management team there, in place. They’re going to have to look over every player that they’ve got and decide is he good enough for this club or is it time for him to move on?
“I think there’s a lot of factors within this. I think he is definitely a player that’s got the ability to play for Celtic and be a top player but it’s going to come down to him and the new management team, if he’s wanted.”