BRENDAN RODGERS has told Celtic fans he feared Olivier Ntcham might have been the next top Celtic star out the door after seeing Moussa Dembele leave the club.

Ntcham has recently signed a new four-year deal with the club after there was major interest in the midfielder this summer from Porto.

The Celtic manager admitted his player was in demand but Celtic did not entertain the interest at all before they moved on.

“You’re always a wee bit worried that when someone like Moussa Dembele leaves, Ntcham — who is close to him — might think about leaving too.” Rodgers told SunSport.

“Moussa was someone I spoke to during the process of bringing Oli here because he was able to tell him everything that was happening at Celtic.”

Luckily for Celtic Olivier is enjoying his time at the club so far and if he does move on in two or three years, Celtic can cash in on the Frenchman.

“That’s the model — you bring a boy like that in and you know there’s lots of development in them.” Rodgers admitted.

“They come in at 19 or 20 and you know there’s value in the player.

“When I looked at him you see the physical qualities he has and if you can develop those and make him more mentally robust as a player, you know at some stage he’ll move on.

“There was interest in him but we gave it short shrift, absolutely.

“He’s loved his time here, he’s improved a lot and he’s getting valuable games in his legs.”

Ntcham made his return to the Celtic first team after being subbed at half time during the club’s Murrayfield semi-final against Hearts in October.

Brendan Rodgers knows Ntcham will be an important player moving forward this season.

The bhoys are heading to Norway on Wednesday for their match against Rosenborg on Thursday where Ntcham will likely start.



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