TITLES, trophies and medals are a part of it. The adulation from the supporters and a sizeable wage also help. Celtic have a raft of incentives they can wave under the nose of potential signings these days but the possibility of playing in the Champions League remains the biggest carrot of the lot.

Olivier Ntcham admits as much, too. The 21 year-old, who completed his transfer from Manchester City yesterday for a fee in the region of £4.5 million, signing a four-year deal, is enthused about the prospect of playing for a side competing for silverware after spending the last two seasons on loan at relegation-threatened Genoa.

His friend and long-time French team-mate Moussa Dembele has also told him about the Celtic fans and the warm reception he can expect. But it is the notion of playing in Europe’s premier club competition that has proved the biggest lure for the midfielder as he looks to kick-start his career after two largely frustrating seasons in Italy.

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Granted, it is not guaranteed. Celtic will need to scrap their way through three increasingly difficult qualifying ties just to reach the group stage. Should they manage it, however, then in a few months’ time Ntcham could find himself lining up against sides of the calibre of Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Real Madrid. For a young player hoping to make a name for himself in the game, it serves as a colossal incentive.

“What persuaded me to come here? The Champions League,” he revealed. “Not every player can play in this competition and that is why I came here. I never had the chance to play Champions League football in my career before. I have heard that it is unbelievable to play in and that is what I want to do with Celtic.”

Ntcham does not expect to feature against Linfield in the first of those qualifying rounds but feels it will not be be long before he starts to make an impact. Describing himself as a “box to box” midfielder, the France under-21 player believes he has a versatility that allows him to perform either just behind the centre forward or in a deeper-lying role. “I like to play more [forward] on the pitch but I can play all of the central midfield positions as a number 8, 6, or 10. I am a strong, physical player.”

One of Brendan Rodgers’ main attributes last season was drawing more out of players with untapped potential. Ntcham is confident the Celtic manager can do the same for him.

“The manager spoke to me and told me that the Italian league did not suit my style of football,” revealed the one-time Le Havre prospect. “He felt that it was not the right fit for me because it was more tactical and everything was different.

“The manager believes that I would be best suited to the Scottish game and the way Celtic play. I learned a lot of tactical stuff in Italy. It has made me a better tactical player because in terms of tactics Italy is the best football place in the world. And we did running...a lot!”

The reported £4.5m fee is one of the biggest outlays by Celtic in recent times but Ntcham is not fazed by the level of expectation that may bring.

“No, the money does not put pressure on me,” he said. “For me, it makes me happy because the club is showing a lot of faith in me.

“When you buy a player, you buy him because he can do big things on the pitch. I hope this is what I can show for Celtic. The money is not a problem. It is a challenge and I am looking forward to it.”