Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has dropped a worrying update regarding the club’s potential permanent signing of Jota.
In recent comments cited by Football Scotland, the Bhoys boss suggested that, despite the Benfica loanee’s remarkable form since making a temporary switch to Parkhead this summer, he will not be rushed into activating the club’s €7.5m (£6.5m) option to buy the winger.
Despite initially talking positively about the deal, the uncertainty behind a move is likely to be a cause of concern.
Speaking about the potential of signing the 22-year-old, Postecoglou said: “I know people tend to get really excited. I tend to let those kinds of things happen naturally. Jota is enjoying his football here. He’s loving the club, loving his teammates and the way we play. He loves playing in front of our supporters.
“If that continues and he wants to stay at this football club, then we’ll start those negotiations and come to an agreement. That’s not going to satisfy everyone because people think you should just sign players as soon as they show some potential.
“For me, what’s more important is that we have footballers here who appreciate what they have and Jota is certainly doing that at the moment. I can’t give you timelines.”
Considering just how impressive Jota has been since joining Celtic, it would not be surprising at all if a number of Europe’s biggest clubs have started to take notice of the Portugal U21 international.
Indeed, over his nine Premiership appearances this season, the £3.15m-rated man has scored four goals, registered four assists and created two big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 2.9 shots and making 1.4 key passes per game.
The £7.1k-per-week forward has also impressed over his four Europa League fixtures, scoring one goal, providing two assists and creating four big chances for his teammates – returns which have seen him average a SofaScore match rating of 7.55.
Indeed, in recent comments cited by the Daily Record, John Hartson stated his belief that, as a result of these remarkable returns, it is essential for Celtic to tie up the permanent signing of Jota as quickly as possible, or else the Bhoys could see a bigger club land the winger ahead of them.
The former Celtic centre-forward said: “You do it now, you do it now. In January, you do it. He’s made a great impact and although Celtic have first refusal it doesn’t mean you get him over the line.
“They have an option to get him, but his agent and Jota will have the decision whether it will be Celtic or not. You don’t want Jota to be on 20 goals by February and then a Bayern Munich come in and say to his agent ‘we’ll give you £10m if you get him to us.’
“That could happen – a Bayern Munich or a PSG might come in and say, ‘we want this kid, he’s 22, he’s lit the place up at Celtic, he looks dynamite.’ I would recommend Celtic to it as swiftly as they can because he is a very special player.”
As such, should Postecoglou decide against rushing into making the 22-year-old’s temporary deal a permanent move in January, and the Hoops ultimately end up missing out on the signing of the winger, it would undeniably be a huge mistake on the part of the 56-year-old, as well as being an outcome that would leave Bhoys fans severely annoyed.