JOHN HARTSON insists Ange Postecoglou MUST sign Filipe Jota on a permanent contract in the January transfer window.
The former Hoops striker fears his old club could miss out if the on-loan Benfica winger continues his dazzling form since his summer arrival.
Postecoglou has an option to buy the 22-year-old forward – who is rated in the £6.5million bracket by the Lisbon giants – and Hartson reckons the Parkhead side can not run the risk of losing out when his temporary transfer expires in June.
ON THE BALL…Filipe Jota in action against Dundee at Dens Park where he claimed a double strike.
The Welsh international legend said: “You do it now. That’s the next one. 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 £10million if you get him to us’.
“That could happen. That’s why I’m saying, get him done. A Bayern Munich or a PSG might come in and say” ‘We want this kid, he’s 22, he has lit the place up at Celtic, he looks dynamite’.
“You know agents are running the game right now — they run football.
“They speak to clubs, they speak to chairmen. All managers have agents, this is how they do the deals.
“I would recommend Celtic do it as swiftly as they can because he is a very special player.”
Hartson is also a confirmed admirer of Japanese international frontman Kyogo Furuhashi who has claimed 13 goals since his £4.6million move from J-League outfit Vessel Kobe.
NET PROPHETS…Kyogo Furuhashi and Filipe Jota celebrate a goal against Ferencvaros at Parkhead.
The Hoops great, speaking to the Scottish Sun, added: “He’s got a bit of everything. Some of his goals show you that he is a world-class operator.
“His movement, his touch, his finishing. He is world class.
“For me, he has been a brilliant signing, a brilliant find and I think Ange has got his eye on that Japanese market.
“I think the club have to back him. His relationship with Jota is unique.
“It is very similar to something like Henrik Larsson and Stan Petrov’s or Chris Sutton and Henrik.
“He has just got that feeling about him, Kyogo, and Celtic have got that feeling about them with Jota, Liel Abada and him.
“Last week in Budapest they were able to change the front three — bringing in Mikey Johnston and James Forrest, who will be like a new signing for us.
WINGING IT…James Forrest is coming back to full fitness.
“James has almost become the forgotten man. You talk about Scotland, he’s been outstanding for them with the hat-trick over Israel a couple of seasons ago.
“Because he has been out of the team, you are not exactly forgotten, but it’s almost like he has got to come back and has to do it all again because he has been out for so long.
“And we were also able to bring on Giorgos Giakoumakis, who is still trying to get into his stride at Celtic.
“But I’m not going to comment too much because it is still too early to judge him.”
Following the international break, Jota, Kyogo and Abada go back into club action when Celtic face holders St Johnstone in the Premier Sports League Cup semi-final at Hampden a week tomorrow.