FILIPE JOTA’S loan deal with Celtic is due to expire on May 31.
The flamboyant Portuguese winger’s temporary transfer will be complete and he will be scheduled to return to parent club Benfica.
Ange Postecoglou has already admitted he loves having Jota and his fellow-loanee Cameron Carter-Vickers “as part of this football club” – as CQN reported last month – and the 23-year-old raider’s arrival at Parkhead has sparked off a rejuvenation for the player as well as the Hoops.
This time last season, Jota was toiling with struggling La Liga club Real Vallodolid as they headed for the inevitability of relegation from the top flight. The forward could only manage one goal in a campaign of turmoil for the Spanish club.
POINTS-CLINCHER COMING UP…Filipe Jota watches as Giorgos Giakoumakis’ shot beats keeper Roass Laidlaw to hit the bar. The Portuguese raider displayed lightning reflexes to get in front of defender Connor Randall to claim the second goal.
Since joining in August as part of Postecoglou’s squad revamp, he has become a firm favourite with the fans, claimed 11 goals and the same number of assists with the team six points ahead with four games to play and a remarkable Premiership title win well within their grasp.
Jota, who was forced out of the Premier Sports League Cup victory over Hibs in December through injury, emphasised his worth to the Hoops in the 2-0 triumph over Ross County yesterday when he set up Kyogo Furuhashi for the opening goal in the 12th minute and made certain with the killer second near the end.
There is no problem with the £6.5million fee which is the transfer option in the temporary contract, but, as ever in these transactions, there are add-ons to be addressed plus the player’s own requirements have to be met.
Also, the exciting raider’s deal at the Lisbon giants still has over TWO years to run.
CRUNCH…Filipe Jota feels the force of a challenge from Ross County defender Connor Randall.
Jota stated “just let me play football and enjoy it” as he refused to get involved in transfer talk in the aftermath of the important victory in Dingwall.
Postecoglou was also eager to put the flanker’s future aside when he said: “If anyone thinks we’re thinking of anything other than what happened today, for all of us the most important thing is that we work hard to get a successful year out of this [Jota loan deal].
“Whatever happens beyond that, these conversations, there are two parties and if two parties want the same thing, then it will happen.
“He was good. With him, he had such a great start to the year then he had a significant injury. He’s another player who has just been really unfortunate this year with a disrupted year.”
WING AND A SLAYER…Filipe Jota acknowledges the cheers of the travelling support after the second goal.
The Hoops gaffer, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “He’s worked really hard to get back to the form we know he can. He was really good for the team and had a good all-round game.
“Just in that final third, he was looking threatening like we know he can be. It was great for him.
“Very few of our boys have had a smooth run this year and they’ve had to overcome difficulties and he’s one of them.”