John Hartson outlines Celtic boss' £16.3m transfer priority

By David Walton

May 4, 2022

John Hartson believes Celtic need to move quickly to tie down both Jota and Cameron Carter-Vickers in a move that would cost the Hoops £16.3m.

Jota and CCV are currently on loan at Parkhead from Benfica and Tottenham Hotspur respectively. However, it would take a hefty price-tag to lure both to the club permanently.

It’s been reported over in Portugal that Celtic would need to pay €7.5m [£6.3m] to secure Jota as per their option-to-buy clause [Jornal de Noticias]. Meanwhile, it’s been reported that the Hoops may have to pay a total of £10m for CCV including add-ons to make that one permanent too [Football.london].

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But despite the pricy tags on both men, Hartson believes it’s essential Celtic tie down their best players. He’s including the Parkhead loan duo in that.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Hartson said: “We knew what the carrot was at the end of the season, the holy grail of the Champions League, the best platform a player can ever play at in his career apart from international football. All players want to play in the Champions League and you can’t help think what a difference that £40million could make, possibly more if they go through to the knockout stages, maybe go to £45-50million.

“Celtic run the house accordingly. They don’t overspend. They don’t push the boat out for many players unless they’re very special. Like Jota is, like Carter-Vickers. So this season, to have gone and got that carrot of £30-40m is fantastic.

“Champions League is very exciting, they can sell those three-game packages and everything else. So you’ve got to tie down those players who made a big difference. It has been a team and Ange is all about the team. Certainly Jota and Carter-Vickers would be two loan players, without anything else, I’d be looking to tie down on the back of how well they’ve done.”

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Celtic urged to sign up Jota and CCV permanently

It would feel extremely careless of Celtic if they were to fail in their desire to sign up both players this summer.

The question we need to be asking ourselves as a club is whether we could find better for similar money. Just over £6m for Jota is an absolute steal in today’s market. An initial £6m for CCV is also a bargain even if that would rise to £10m.

Chances are, these days, you won’t find better talents for fees such as those. They will exist, but they’ll be extremely hard to find. Not a risk Celtic should take when they’re trying to build from a position of strength and will have secured UCL football.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Not to mention the fact that both players have already been with the club for a year. That means they’ll be a big part of the dressing room and will know Ange Postecoglou’s style down to a tee.

Hartson is right to say that getting these 2 done should be major priorities for the club. Keeping this squad together just has to be the main goal. Yes it will need some tweaking in areas, but we can’t allow our best players to depart.

Even if it costs over £16m in total, the potential long-term value of keeping CCV and Jota far outweigh that.

In other news, Hearts boss says struggling striker will “probably score” against Celtic