Exclusive - Southampton have revived their interest in Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham, but have been joined in the transfer race by Premier League rivals Everton and West Ham.
The 24-year-old has long been linked with a move to England, after playing a starring role at Celtic Park for the past three seasons. He's won every trophy possible in Scotland, also clocking up 20 Under-21 appearances for France during his time north of the border.
His impressive performances haven't gone unnoticed, and it's been confirmed to 90min that Southampton are back on his trail after selling former captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to Tottenham last week.
The Dane was allowed to leave St Mary's in a deal worth up to £25m after informing the club that he wouldn't be extending his contract, which was due to expire next summer.
Southampton may need to act swiftly if they want to land Ntcham - who has two years left on his Celtic contract and is valued around the £20m mark - with Everton and West Ham also now hot on his heels. Both sides are in the market for midfield reinforcements after disappointing 2019/20 Premier League campaigns, and both have significant pulling power when it comes to paying wages.
Ntcham is interested in moving back to the Premier League, and has a point to prove after failing to make the grade at Manchester City as a teenager. He spent five years in the club's academy after moving to England from Le Havre, but failed to make an appearance for the club - instead spending two full seasons on loan at Genoa between 2015 and 2017.
His form in Italy persuaded Celtic to take him to Scotland on a four-year deal - with new and improved terms penned just under 18 months later - but having won everything on offer, Ntcham could be swayed by the prospect of a new challenge.
The Bhoys have a potential replacement already in mind, with Crystal Palace's James McCarthy - a lifelong fan of the club - ready to take a pay cut in order to push through a move.
Tying up a move for the former Everton midfielder won't be straight forward, however, with a source confirming to 90min that Leeds, Newcastle, Aston Villa - as well as West Ham - are also interested in snatching McCarthy away from Selhurst Park.