Ntcham in­sists he was never tempted by £14m Porto deal

Evening Times - - SPORT -

great last sea­son and it was like win­ning a tro­phy for me to hear this, so I was pleased with that.

“When the mar­ket was closed, we spoke about that [in­ter­est from Porto].

“The man­ager, my­self, my agent and the club all spoke and we de­cided to have a talk to sign the new deal.”

Ntcham’s fel­low coun­try­man, Moussa Dem­bele, ac­ri­mo­niously en­gi­neered a move out of Celtic on the fi­nal day of the trans­fer win­dow af­ter Lyon made their move for him but his com­pa­triot was not of a sim­i­lar mind af­ter feel­ing that he had de­vel­oped his game un­der the tute­lage of Bren­dan Rodgers.

“If he was go­ing to go, life is like that,” he said. “Of course I miss him, he was my friend, but we stay in touch all of the time and he is pleased for me that I have agreed this deal to stay at Celtic.

“It’s good to have the other French-speak­ing boys around the club, even though it’s not the case that we are al­ways to­gether.

“Even when you are on the pitch, there can be times when you may not un­der­stand some­thing, but there is al­ways some­one there who can trans­late the mes­sage and man­age to get the point across.

“I have im­proved a lot in all as­pects of my game since com­ing to Celtic. When I was at Genoa, I didn’t score a lot of goals.

“I have im­proved in that area.

“The man­ager told me when I signed that I needed to score more to be­come the com­plete mid­fielder. He said that to me on the first day.”

Hav­ing made a de­ci­sion to stay at Celtic for the long-term, Ntcham’s next call to make his where his in­ter­na­tional al­le­giance will lie.

Capped by France up un­til un­der-21 level, the mid­fielder is also el­i­gi­ble to play for Cameroon through both Cameroo­nian par­ents but Ntcham will not be hur­ried into mak­ing a de­ci­sion.

“The sit­u­a­tion is that I am play­ing with the French un­der-21 team now and that is what I am fo­cus­ing on,” said the mid­fielder.

“Cameroon have been in con­tact with me but to make a good de­ci­sion, you have to take your time. They are happy for me to do that.

“Even if they weren’t, it’s me who is go­ing to de­cide what hap­pens. They haven’t given me a time for when they want me to de­cide.

“It is [an hon­our] but in life you have to take your time when you make a de­ci­sion like this.

“I am with France and we have a com­pe­ti­tion next sum­mer so I am fo­cused on that.”

Olivier Ntcham signs a new deal with Celts

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