CELTIC are ramping up their efforts to get on-loan double-act Filipe Jota and Cameron Carter-Vickers on permanent contracts, as CQN reported last week.
Negotiations took place with the players’ parent clubs, Benfica and Spurs, over the weekend as Ange Postecoglou urged the Parkhead powerbrokers to get the deals done as soon as possible to leave the summer clear for him to operate in his third transfer window since his arrival almost seven months ago.
Jota and Cameron-Vickers were just two of the dozen pre-season recruits and the Parkhead gaffer has already brought in four this month – the triple swoop on the J-League for Daizen Maeda, Yosuke Ideguchi and Reo Hatate and teenage Irish striker Johnny Kenny – and a fifth is being pursued in the shape of Australian international midfielder Riley McGreery.
HANDS UP IF YOU WANT TO STAY AT CELTIC…whichever way you look at it, Filipe Jota has been an instant success at Parkhead. On this occasion, he celebrates opening the scoring in the Hoops’ 2-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park in October.
The Hoops edged closer to getting the £6.5million-rated Portuguese winger, who had scored eight goals before being struck down by a hamstring injury at the start of last month, on a long-term contract and talks have progressed well with the Lisbon giants, according to a report in the Daily Record.
Back in November, Jota, 22, was quizzed about the possibility of becoming a permanent fixture in the east end of Glasgow and he answered: “A lot of people ask that, but my focus is not on that just now.
“My focus is on the team, on our games, on our victories and the process.
“I just want to stick with it and be a better person and better player every day.”
Jota had been at Real Valladolid on a temporary switch the previous season and added: “In every place you can learn and I’m trying to do that every year and last season I learned a lot of things although we got relegated.
“This season we are fighting and winning and we can definitely do good things throughout the season and it’s just new things to learn and it’s been an amazing journey.”
DEAL OR NO DEAL? Ange Postecoglou ponders the Jota question.
With former Hoops stars such as John Hartson urging Postecoglou to get the deal signed immediately after only two months into the player’s season-long loan, the manager responded: “I don’t know if it works that way, if that’s how they (the board) do things – if I’d need to tell them to put some money aside.
“We’ll always make decisions that are in the best interests of the football club and also the player.
“Jota is just starting his career, but he’s already fallen in love with the club.
“He loves the environment here and the supporters. Who wouldn’t?”
Despite the injury setback which has seen Jota miss the last even games, including the Premier Sports League Cup Final triumph over Hibs, it increasingly looks assured the flamboyant flanker has a long-term future at Celtic.
After the most recent round of talks with all parties, there could be more good news for the Hoops faithful in this transfer window.