Celtic have been dealt a potential setback in their bid to sign Jota on a permanent basis.
A report by The Sunday Times (via BBC Sport) revealed that the Benfica loanee has recently returned to his parent club for treatment concerning his hamstring injury, something which has coincided with the Eagles’ sacking of veteran manager Jorge Jesus and the appointment of Nelson Verissimo – the 22-year-old’s former coach in the Benfica reserve team – as the club’s new interim boss.
A further report by The Celtic Bhoys went on to suggest that this appointment by the Liga NOS side could cause a complication in Ange Postecoglou’s attempt to sign the winger on a permanent basis, as, despite the Bhoys possessing a £6.5m option to purchase the forward, the Portugal U21 international could still reject a switch to Parkhead if he is promised first-team football at the Estadio da Luz.
Considering just how impressive Jota has been for Celtic since his season-long loan switch to the club last summer, the news that the Hoops could end up missing out on the permanent signing of the winger is sure to have left the Parkhead faithful outraged.
Indeed, over his 11 Premiership outings so far this season, the £4.95m-rated forward has already scored five goals, provided four assists and created two big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of three shots and making 1.5 key passes per game.
These returns have seen the player who Alan Hutton claimed is a “no brainer” signing for Celtic average an extraordinary SofaScore match rating of 7.38, ranking him as the sixth-best player in the entirety of the Scottish top flight.
Aside from this remarkable league form, the £7.1k-per-week has also bagged a further three goals and two assists over seven appearances in the Europa League and League Cup – taking his total haul for the current campaign to eight goals and six assists in just 18 fixtures.
As such, should Celtic indeed miss out on the signing of the 22-year-old in favour of a return to his parent club at the end of the season, it would undoubtedly come as a major blow to Postecoglou and his side.
Jota is undoubtedly a player who could not only prove influential for the Hoops in the race for the Premiership title but also one who the club could make a considerable amount of money from further down the line.