CELTIC missed out on signing instant fans’ favourite Filipe Jota for £200,000 after being tipped off about the winger when he was a teenager.
Former Hoops scout David Moss made the startling revelation about the 22-year-old Portuguese raider who is taking Scottish soccer by storm after agreeing a season-long loan deal from Benfica in the summer.
Jota has hit the ground running since his arrival from the Lisbon giants, scoring six goals, winning Man of the Match accolades and picking up the Premiership Player of the Month for October award, as CQN reported.
PORTUGUESE MAN OF ROAR…Filipe Jota races away after netting one of his double in the 4-2 win over Dundee at Dens Park.
The supporters are already clamouring for the club to shell out the £6.5million option to make the switch permanent, but they will have to be patient with there being very little likelihood of any transfer taking place in the January window.
Six years ago, the Glasgow giants could have snapped up the emerging wide player for a snip.
Moss, who was at the club for seven years, admitted he travelled to the Portuguese capital for talks with the player and his parents over a £200,000 deal before Benfica stepped in with a contract.
The former Falkirk and Dunfermline forward recalled: “Helena Costa was a scout at Celtic for a long time and very good at her job.
“She coached Jota at the Benfica academy from when he was eight or nine years old and she recommended him to Celtic when he was around 16.
WHAM…Filipe Jota celebrates one of his six Celtic goals since his summer arrival from Benfica.
“I was scouting for the Celtic academy when she said to me: ‘David, you need to try and sign this winger before he signs a contract with Benfica’.
“I went over there a few times to watch him and met him and his parents.
“For whatever reason, I just don’t think Celtic were in a position back then to go and spend £200,000 or whatever the fee would have been to take on a teenage player with no first-team experience.”
Moss, a former Head of Football Operations at Huddersfield, is now an agent with young clients at Celtic and Ibrox.
The agent who took former Parkhead youngsters Liam Morrison and Barry Hepburn to Bayern Munich, believes his old club should waste no time in paying the fee to make the Jota deal permanent to avoid missing out on the player for a second time.
FLYING HIGH…Filipe Jota is walking on air since joining the Hoops.
Moss, speaking to the Daily Mail, added: “I haven’t seen every game Jota has played, but he is a player Celtic should try to sign.
“Clubs down south will definitely be sitting up taking note of his form now.
“His strength is his technique. He is a typical Portuguese winger with creativity.
“The good thing about him is that he has always scored goals and produced an end product.”
Jota will go back into the limelight tomorrow night when he will face Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League Group G encounter at the BayArena.