OLIVIER NTCHAM is heading back to Celtic in the summer after failing to impress Marseille in his loan period.
The French midfielder, under contract at the Hoops until June 2022, made it clear he was relieved to be leaving Parkhead when he agreed the temporary switch to the Ligue 1 outfit at the turn of the year.
Ntcham had been used sparingly by ex-boss Neil Lennon this season and the French side accepted the option of making the deal permanent with the Glasgow side hoping to recoup their initial outlay of £4.5million on the 25-year-old when he was signed by Brendan Rodgers from Manchester City in June 2017.
However, it looks as though there is NO chance of the powerhouse extending his stay at the club where he has started only four games, two in the league and two in the Cup – and he has been hauled off at half-time in ALL four matches. In one outing, he was given the savage rating of 1/10 in the prestigious rankings in the local media.
The former French Under-21 international has made one further appearance from the substitutes’ bench, but has made no impact and has failed to impress either interim coach Nasser Laguet or new boss Jorge Sampaoli.
Ntcham’s January arrival created a sensation when the-then head coach Andre Villas-Boas offered his resignation when he heard the news of the move. He said: “He is a player I specifically said no to. He wasn’t on our list and I had nothing to do with the decision.”
The Portuguese gaffer, who has managed Chelsea and Spurs in the past, was sacked 24 hours later.
Now it has emerged, Marseille will be attempting to buy Toulouse youngster Amine Adli for the midfield role the club had hoped Ntcham would fill.
Pablo Longoria, the club president, has indicated he would rather pursue the French starlet than cough up cash for Ntcham.
Unless there is a huge and unexpected somersault in the player’s situation, he will be back in place at Parkhead in the summer.