CELTIC are pushing ahead with their plans for a dramatic £12.5million double swoop for loan stars Cameron Carter-Vickers and Filipe Jota.
The US international centre-back and the Portuguese flyer have impressed since joining the Hoops on temporary transfers in the summer.
The Parkhead club have options to buy in both contracts with Carter-Vickers valued at £6million by Spurs while Jota is rated in the £6.5million bracket by Benfica.
LET’S HEAR IT FOR ‘THE FRIDGE’…Cameron Carter-Vickers acknowledges the Celtic fans’ support.
The rock-solid defender, known as The Fridge to his team-mates, is in “advanced talks” with the club, according to a media report in the States. There is interest from the Premier League with Leicester City, Wolves, Burnley and Watford monitoring his situation.
Top-flight promotion hopefuls Bournemouth, where the player had a season-long stint last season, have also been credited with an interest.
However, Celtic appear to be at the head of the queue for the 24-year-old Southend-born back-four performer and the lure of playing in the Champions League will undoubtedly help their quest to get the deal sealed before the end of the season.
Ange Postecoglou revealed the Hoops ran out of time in their bid to sign Carter-Vickers on a permanent contract on deadline day, as CQN reported back in December.
The Greek-Australian gaffer said at the time: “We were close to not getting him in the window because there were moving parts.
DOUBLE TAKE…Ange Postecoglou and Filipe Jota after another Celtic win.
“There were some players we needed to move on at the time. People forget that Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie didn’t leave until late, so there were a helluva lot of moving parts.
“Thankfully for us, we were able to get Cameron over the line at the last minute. It was a bit of a leap of faith for him because he didn’t have a lot of time to think about it, but I’m sure he would say that it has been a great move for him and it’s been a great move for the club.
“Why was it not a permanent deal? Because we didn’t have the time. It was really late in the piece and the logical thing for all parties was a loan, otherwise we wouldn’t have got the deal done.”
Carter-Vickers is poised to make his 42nd appearance for the team in Dingwall against Ross County tomorrow with Celtic six points ahead at the Premiership summit with five games to play.
ON THE RUN…Filipe Jota demonstrates the attacking style that has made him a fans’ favourite.
Jota, who celebrated his 23rd birthday last month, is likely to join him in the line-up against Malky Mackay’s outfit and talks are also going on to keep him at the club on a four-year contract.
The touchline ace has scored 10 goals – one more than £5million Albian Ajeti in almost two years – since his summer arrival and Postecoglou has already admitted he is eager to secure him on a permanent basis.
Jota hit the ground running in Glasgow after spending last season at struggling La Liga club Real Vallodolid where he claimed just one strike as the team were relegated.
However, he has impressed at Parkhead and the Hoops hierarchy are stepping up their efforts to make sure Carter-Vickers and Jota are in place long before Postecoglou turns his thoughts to his second Celtic campaign.