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Celtic nearing permanent Jota deal

Celtic are reportedly edging closer to signing Portuguese starlet Jota on a permanent deal, with the winger having dazzled on loan for the Hoops this season.

What’s the word?

As per the Daily Record, a deal for the 23-year-old is expected to be confirmed this week following a ‘final round of talks’, with parent club Benfica set to sanction his departure on a £6.5m deal.

The Lisbon-born gem was a relative unknown prior to his deadline day arrival on a season-long loan deal last summer, although has since proven instrumental in the Glasgow outfit’s tenth Scottish Premiership triumph of the last 11 seasons.

While not yet confirmed, the imminent permanent deal could prove vital to Ange Postecoglou’s side retaining their title next term, as they also attempt to navigate their way through the Champions League group stage for the first time since 2017.

The next Jinky?

It would no doubt be a travesty for all concerned were the £4.95m-rated speedster not to be at Parkhead next season, although all the indications are that he will be, handing him the chance to truly solidify his emerging cult status.

The fleet-footed wideman has proven a revelation in Glasgow thus far, notably netting ten goals and registering a further ten assists in the Scottish top-flight in the 2021/22 campaign, with such form seeing him dubbed “unbelievable” by the man who brought him to the club, Postecoglou.

Will Jota sign permanently?

Yes!

Yes!

No

No

The £7.1k-per-week playmaker has caught the eye of fans and pundits alike with his dynamic displays and bravery in possession, with pundit Owen Hargreaves praising the loanee for being so “direct” in his play.

Whisper it quietly, but such eyecatching showings have even evoked memories of a figure entrenched in the club’s folklore and one of the Old Firm outfit’s legendary ‘Lisbon Lions‘ – Jimmy Johnstone.

Affectionately nicknamed ‘Jinky’ for his ability to bamboozle defenders with both trickery and cunning, the former Scotland international remains an iconic figure both in his home country and beyond, having notably been dubbed the “Flying Flea” by the French press following a particularly standout display against Nantes.

A star of the ’60s and ’70s at Celtic Park – having risen through the club’s youth ranks  – the European Cup winner is arguably the greatest and most talented player to have adorned the famous green and white jersey, playing an integral role as Jock Stein’s side claimed nine successive league titles between 1965 and 1974.

Such is his importance to the history of the team and its supporters, he was even immortalised with a statue outside the club’s home ground in 2008, with the legendary status of Jimmy ‘Jinky’ Johnstone set to be retained for generations to come.

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To replicate the success of such a club hero may appear unlikely, although in Jota, Postecoglou has seemingly uncovered his own one-of-a-kind, unique diamond, with it an exciting thought as to just how high the young man can go.

For those of a Celtic persuasion, they will be praying that his development can continue in Scotland as the club enjoys further success over the years to come. Perhaps more importantly, however, will be the hope that he can simply continue to entertain, as the great Johnstone so often did…

IN other news, Celtic can unearth a new Giakoumakis after submitting bid for “very strong” £2.5m gem

Article title: Celtic nearing permanent Jota deal

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