Celtic's Olivier Ntcham completes loan move to Marseille

Krishan Davis
Feb 1, 2021, 11:45 PM GMT
Ntcham was allowed to leave Celtic Park
Ntcham was allowed to leave Celtic Park | Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Celtic's French midfielder Olivier Ntcham has completed a deadline day loan move back to his homeland with Marseille.

The short-term deal includes an option to buy at the end of the season for as little as £4.4m, according to earlier reports in France.

Ntcham completed a medical on Monday afternoon, before the deal was officially confirmed in the evening.

Ntcham had yet to feature for the Hoops in 2021, having fallen down the pecking order behind youngster David Turnbull and Ismaila Soro, and reports suggest he had requested a move away from the club in January.

The 24-year-old joined the Glasgow club from Manchester City in 2017, but fitness issues and form have led to an inconsistent four-year stint at Celtic Park in which he has scored 24 goals in 147 appearances, laying on 13 more.

There have been times when he has shown genuine promise - at his peak, he scored a famous winning goal against Lazio at Stadio Olimpico - but he has faded in and out of the team this campaign, and his time at Celtic is likely up.

Ntcham celebrates his famous strike at Lazio
Ntcham celebrates his famous strike at Lazio | TIZIANA FABI/Getty Images

The rumoured low fee in the option to buy - which is less than Celtic actually paid for Ntcham from City - suggests Neil Lennon is ready to cut his losses on the Frenchman, whose contract is due to expire in summer 2022.

90min revealed back in August that there was extensive interest in him from the Premier League, and while that has faded due to his form in Scotland, it has survived to some extent - on Sunday, Sky Sports reported that Newcastle had made their interest clear.

However, Ntcham has elected to move to the south of France, while Newcastle have instead landed Arsenal's Joe Willock on loan until the end of the 2020/21 campaign.

Earlier on deadline day Celtic confirmed their one and only January signing with the arrival of right-back Jonjoe Kenny on loan from Everton, with the 23-year-old signed as a replacement for Jeremie Frimpong.

Another former Man City player, the 20-year-old joined Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen earlier in the window, much to the dismay of Lennon. Celtic remain 23 points behind Rangers in the Scottish Premiership in what has been a torrid season on all fronts for the Bhoys.