OLIVIER NTCHAM started his first game for Marseille in last night’s Ligue 1 clash at Lille – but once again there was anguish for the Celtic midfielder.
The 25-year-old joined the struggling French aces on loan in the January transfer window, but had played only 71 minutes in two substitutes appearances before he got the nod to face the Hoops’ Europa League Group H opponents.
But Ntcham was hauled off at the interval by interim coach Nasser Larguet with Salt-Eddine Khaoui taking his place on the right-hand side of the midline.
To make matters worse, the visitors lost 2-0 to a double blast from Jonathan David to slip to eighth place in the top-flight, 23 points behind leaders Lille who are two ahead of Paris Saint-Germain.
Ntcham’s side have won only one of their last 11 league games – 3-2 against Nice last month – and the word in his homeland is that the club may not take up the option to sign the Hoops player, as CQN reported yesterday.
Celtic are hoping to match the £4.5million fee they paid to Manchester City in June 2017 to get the unhappy player off the books. The former France Under-21 international is under contract until the summer of 2023.
Ntcham’s arrival at Marseille on deadline day created chaos with boss Andre Villas-Boas immediately threatening to quit over the deal when he made it clear he did not want the player. Twenty-four hours later, the much-travelled Portuguese coach was sacked.