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Fresh twist emerges in Celtic’s Jota pursuit

Celtic have been handed a major boost in their attempts to bring Jota to Parkhead on a permanent basis this winter.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to a report by Portuguese publication A Bola (via Sport Witness), who claim that Benfica would be more than happy for Celtic to activate their €7.5m (£6.5m) option to buy clause for the 22-year-old winger in the January transfer window.

Previous reports have suggested that, as a result of the Portugal U21 international’s success in Glasgow, Ange Postecoglou is eager to tie up the permanent signing of Jota this winter, in a bid to ensure the forward is not tempted by a more enticing offer from another club come the end of the season.

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Fans will be buzzing

Considering just how important a part of the Celtic side Jota has become since his switch to Parkhead this summer, the news that Benfica appear to be more than willing to wave goodbye to the winger on a permanent basis is sure to have left Bhoys fans buzzing.

Indeed, over his 11 Scottish Premiership appearances this season, the £3.15m-rated man has scored five goals, registered four assists and created two big chances for his teammates, while, over his five Europa League fixtures, the £7.1k-per-week winger has bagged a further two goals, two assists and created four big chances.

These returns have seen the player, who Postecoglou dubbed an “unbelievable” talent, average a SofaScore match rating of 7.38 in the league and 7.40 in Europe, ranking him as the Hoops’ fifth-best and best performer in the respective competitions.

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Can you guess which Celtic player scored the most goals during the season in question? Let's start with 2010/11...

And, while it is true that Benfica’s stance on the forward’s potential transfer is not overly important – as Celtic can activate their option to buy clause without the Portuguese side’s permission – should the Liga NOS club have informed Jota that he could be in line for a starting spot at the Estadio da Luz next season, this may well have influenced the 22-year-old’s decision as to whether or not he would be willing to accept Celtic’s offer of a permanent deal.

As such, the news that Benfica will not stand in the way of Celtic’s swoop for the player who Postecgolou “wants to keep” is sure to come as a major boost for everyone involved with the club, as the Portuguese starlet remaining at Parkhead beyond the end of the current campaign is something that bodes incredibly well for the Bhoys’ future.

In other news: Ange could unearth Celtic’s new Robbie Keane with swoop for “bright” 18 G/A machine

Article title: Fresh twist emerges in Celtic’s Jota pursuit

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