Celtic have slapped a £12million asking price on Southampton target Olivier Ntcham, Football Insider understands.
This site revealed yesterday that the Premier League club have identified the Hoops 24-year-old as a possible replacement for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg this summer.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that the club value three-times Scottish title winner Ntcham at £12m, nearly three times what they paid for him in 2017.
That may be deemed as an inflated price by Southampton, given the Frenchman is out of contract in two years and has not been a nailed-on starter in Neil Lennon’s side.
Transfer fees are also expected to tumble in the next transfer window as a result of the financial chaos caused by Covid-19.
Celtic are willing to listen to high offers for Ntcham after blocking him from quitting in the January window.
He also went public last summer with his desire to leave and that led to a public dressing-down from Lennon.
The former France Under-21 international has been a key man in the Hoops’ domination of Scottish football since his £4.5million transfer from Man City in 2017.
He was used almost solely in central midfield alongside Scott Brown in his first season and has subsequently played in more advanced positions.
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.
He has two years remaining on his Hoops contract.
In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED that the club have been tipped to seal Frimpong-style deal from West Ham after offer.