Celtic will be unable to make Jota’s loan move at Parkhead a permanent one this summer, according to former Hoops striker Frank McAvennie.
The Lowdown: Jota superb for Ange
The 23-year-old joined Ange Postecoglou’s side last summer, having sealed a season-long loan deal from Portuguese giants Benfica.
Jota has proven to be a superb signing for Celtic, scoring and assisting nine times apiece in the Scottish Premiership, as well as being hailed as ‘unbelievable‘ by his manager, who is clearly a big fan having started the youngster whenever possible.
The hope is that the attacker stays at Parkhead beyond the end of this season, signing permanently for a fee believed to be around £6m, but that doesn’t look likely to be the case.
The Latest: Summer exit backed
Speaking to Football Insider, McAvennie claimed that based on what he’s seen – namely the attacker not signing a deal already – Jota will return to Benfica in the summer:
“I don’t think so. I would love it to happen. Every time I see him he has been tremendous.
“He can be a bit hot and cold sometimes but he has been different class since he came back from injury. He’s a talented boy and I hope he likes what is happening at Celtic. It’s a great environment.
“He’s one hell of a player but I think if he was going to sign then he would have by now. Maybe I’m wrong, I hope I am wrong but maybe he has his eyes on a move somewhere else this summer.”
The Verdict: Hard to keep hold of him
Jota’s performances this season are exactly what Benfica would have hoped for, giving a young player valuable playing time before returning to the club.
Sadly, it is difficult to see them allowing the Portuguese starlet to leave permanently, meaning Postecoglou will be tasked with bringing in a similarly productive wide player.
The hope is that the situation changes, of course, and if Benfica suddenly gave the green light over a move to Celtic, they should jump at the chance to get it done, but the Eagles have likely realised they can get a much bigger fee than £6m or integrate him into their own squad.
In other news, Celtic are reportedly looking to sell one player this summer. Find out who it is here.
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