Why now is precisely the right time for Celtic to pounce on Jota

By David Walton

January 6, 2022

As we continue to await how Celtic approach the Jota and Cameron Carter-Vickers scenarios, it’s becoming clear that now is the perfect time to make their move for the former.

Reports in Portugal have already claimed in recent days that the Hoops are stepping up their interest in the Benfica starlet [A Bola]. This comes with the player currently sidelined and back in his homeland as he continues treatment.

It’s been stated by Sky Sports that Jota would cost as much as £6.5m if Celtic are to take up the option to buy. And it’s absolutely vital we do this well before the summer transfer window.

Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

Firstly, the Benfica supporters are starting to seriously take notice of what he’s doing in Scotland. In a recent poll by A Bola, over 72% of fans who voted stated that they shouldn’t sell him to Celtic permanently. That he needs to stay in Portugal and be given a long-term future in Lisbon.

Celtic's £40m Champions League opportunity

That’s concerning. The last thing we need is some sort of fan backlash over there to the prospect of us signing him. It puts yet more pressure on a club that’s already underperforming this season.

However, there are several other reasons now is exactly the right time to be pressing ahead and attempting to finalise a deal as soon as possible.

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Secondly is the fact that the player himself was sent out by the former manager Jorge Jesus. He’s now been sacked, with Benfica in a state of transition at the moment. They’ve yet to make an appointment with regards to a new manager, but it’s not inconceivable that he’ll look at Jota and want him back in the summer.

Moving quickly for him now, and especially before a new manager is appointed, would be wise on Celtic’s part. Benfica will want funds in to fund their new boss’ summer rebuild. Or perhaps even their January one. At the moment, they could look at the sale of Jota a lot differently than they may under a new boss with a different view.

You then have the fact that clubs won’t be taking too much notice of his progress at the moment. With his injury absolutely rocking momentum, Jota’s stock isn’t as high as it was back in November. He’s at a stage where he needs to get going again.

Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

Naturally, that will cool some of the other interest that was almost certainly gathering. Many clubs will want to see a strong second half of the campaign for the Portuguese youth international before stumping up cash for him.

Right now, Celtic must look like an extremely attractive package for Jota. Of course, it’s down to the player whether he really wants to stay for the long-term or look for opportunities elsewhere.

But at the moment it all adds up for Celtic to strike now. There will literally be no better time to do so. Come the summer, it could simply be too late.

In other news, Ange Celtic signing has been absolutely blown away by Lennoxtown training sessions

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