Celtic urged to keep midfield star as pursuit of Premier League ace hots up


Celtic have some big decisions to make this summer.

After nine years of domination in the Scottish game the Bhoys have reached a real crossroads.

To enjoy such a prolonged period of success is a huge achievement, but for Neil Lennon it's important that his side continue to strive for more.

The immediate target this term is to make it 10 league titles in a row, but the club also have huge aspirations on the continent.

Celtic have often fallen short of expectations in European competition and the next step must surely be around building a team that can start to challenge for major honours.

That's a task that won't be easy, but it's certainly the next objective.

If Lennon's side are to do that then they'll need strengthen their squad, while also ensuring that they don't lose anybody unnecessarily.

Reports last week suggested that the Bhoys were keen on a move for Crystal Palace star James McCarthy.


While clubs such as Leeds United, Newcastle and Aston Villa are said to be keen, the Scottish giants are believed to be confident of getting a deal over the line.

But in order to strike a deal it's been claimed that Oliver Ntcham could be moved on - something that Alex Bruce believes shouldn't be necessary if the club truly want to kick on.

Speaking to Football Insider, Bruce said: “I don’t think it’ll be massive money with the age he’s at. I can’t see Palace asking for an astronomical fee.

“I do believe Celtic need to keep hold of Ntcham because he’s a very good player and he’d proved in his performances towards the end of the season that he can be a valuable asset.

"I’m sure he’ll be someone they’ll want to keep hold of as well.”


GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

There's no doubt that James McCarthy would be a great addition.

Valued at just £3.6million by Transfermarkt, it's a deal that could certainly prove to be a bargain.

Convincing Crystal Palace to sell could prove to be tricky, however, with Roy Hodgson describing him as 'a class player'.

But even if McCarthy does join, it should not spell the end for Oliver Ntcham.

The 24-year-old looked decent last term, and while it seems that the club could look to trim the midfield area down, he's not a player that I'd look to offload.

Ntcham has plenty to offer and if he's given a decent opportunity under Neil Lennon I'd back him to make a real impact.

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