Pundit believes Bayern Munich and PSG could swoop for Celtic star
Celtic great John Hartson believes that the Hoops need to snap up Jota now so that the likes of Bayern Munich and PSG don’t come sniffing in the summer.
Jota has been in electric form for the club since confirming his loan move from Benfica. Already this season, the Portuguese maverick has 6 goals and 6 assists in 14 games [Transfermarkt].
Celtic have the option to buy the player for just over a reported £6m fee [Sky Sports]. As of yet, however, it’s unclear as to whether the player would be open to striking a more permanent deal.
But Hartson believes Celtic can’t linger as he urged the club to move for the young wide talent immediately. As quoted by the Scottish Sun, big John 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.”
Celtic can’t do more than ask the question of Jota
In an ideal world, we would be able to wrap up a deal for Jota right now and have him on the books for the next 3 or 4 years. But this is football – it’s a world of variables where nothing is straightforward.
Like Hartson says here, this isn’t just down to Celtic as to whether he signs or not. The player, for example, may not want to make his mind up right now.
Let’s get real, if his agent is half-decent, he’ll be sourcing potentially bigger moves for his client in the summer. Perhaps he’ll even be trying to get Benfica to take a closer look at him themselves come the end of his loan agreement.
It’s not as basic as Celtic taking the option to buy him and signing him up. The player may have already informed the club that he isn’t ready to make a decision. The last thing we would want is to take up the option and be left in the lurch.
We really need to learn in Scotland that players deserve time and space to develop. They deserve the opportunity to enjoy their football. That’s the reason Jota is here in the first place. There will be a time and place to discuss his future, but it isn’t in mid-November.
So fingers crossed he ends up at Celtic Park on a permanent basis next season. But the pressure on the Hoops to do something immediately is coming across a touch unfair.