According to reports in Scotland, Porto have offered £14m plus Chancel Mbemba in a bid to sign hoops midfielder Olivier Ntcham.
Any deal would see the ex-Mag return to the UK just months after leaving St James’ Park – with the report claiming that he’s already ‘surplus to requirements’ at Porto just months after making the move to Portugal.
He’s made just two league starts all season and is now said to be their fifth choice centre-back after the arrival of ex-Real Madrid centre-back Pepe earlier this month.
Here’s a snippet from the Scottish Sun’s piece, claiming Mbemba was a player Brendan Rodgers wanted to sign himself last summer:
PORTO are set to test Celtic’s resolve with a £14million January bid for Olivier Ntcham – and the Portuguese giants are prepared to use ex-Newcastle defender Chancel Mbemba as a makeweight in the deal.
Hoops manager Brendan Rodgers expressed an interest in the Congolese centre half during the last transfer window.
However, the 24-year-old former Anderlecht stopper opted to join Porto for £8m after three seasons at St James’ Park.
Mbemba is now surplus to requirements having featured in just two league matches this season.
The powerful stopper finds himself fifth-choice central defender following the arrival of Euro 2016 winner Pepe earlier this month and Porto are keen to get him off the wage bill.
Mbemba has talent, but this is the second time in as many years that a manager has not fancied him.
I’m sure he’d excel in the Scottish League if Celtic were to accept Porto’s terms, but it would show just how much his career has declined over the past few years if this move did materialise.
Many questioned him at the time when we were starting the likes of Ciaran Clark and Grant Hanley ahead of him, but maybe Rafa was right all this time..