Jota: Celtic preparing swift Benfica talks over future of Portuguese winger - why club may want to move now

Celtic are expected to accelerate their bid to make Jota a permanent member of their squad when the transfer window opens in January.

Jota has been in excellent form for Celtic since arriving on loan from Benfica.
Jota has been in excellent form for Celtic since arriving on loan from Benfica.

The Glasgow outfit brokered a loan deal with the Portuguese club in the summer for a season, with a option-to-buy clause inserted, reported to be in the region of £7million.

The 22-year-old has been an instant hit with Celtic under new manager Ange Postecoglou. He has made 15 appearances, scoring six goals and contributing six assists since arriving at Parkhead.

Jota has made no secret of how much he is enjoying life at Celtic and is understood to be open to a permanent move to the club, with game-time limited back at Benfica.

While Celtic have first option on the player, Postecoglou and the Celtic board will be keen to open discussions on a transfer given the impact he has at the club and are happy to do so in January rather than wait until next summer, according to reports in Portugal.

Why would Celtic want to make their move now rather than the summer?

There’s no time like the present in football and while Jota is loving life at Celtic, continual strong performances will catch the eye of other clubs.

Celtic will be wary of clubs with more financial clout approaching Jota’s representatives and will be eager to tie him down before his stock goes even higher.

There will also be a temptation within Celtic Park to make a real statement of intent by signing a marquee player, with Postecoglou and Co looking to hunt down Rangers and reclaim the Premiership title and with it secure automatic qualification to the Champions League.

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