Jota on the verge of permanent Celtic move as Benfica talks intensify amid Parkhead signing


Celtic are getting closer to a permanent deal for Jota as they also prepare a move for Aussie ace Riley McGree.

Parkhead manager Ange Postecoglou has got off to a good start in this month’s transfer window and now two more key deals could be close soon.

Jota has had a superb impact in Glasgow since arriving on a one-season loan from Benfica last summer.

Celtic are in talks with the Portuguese winger’s parent club on the possibility of turning the deal into a long-term deal with figures of around £ 6million.

Sport record understands that these talks have progressed well in recent days and that the 22-year-old’s full-time shift could be close to being completed.

McGree is also the subject of reports in the US that the midfielder can be secured against an initial £ 2.3million from the MLS Charlotte franchise.

The Australian has spent the last 15 months on loan at Birmingham City and has received rave reviews for his performances in the English league.

Birmingham wanted to keep him and there are other interests south of the border from Middlesbrough, but Postecoglou has now entered the race for the 23-year-old.

Riley McGree in action for Birmingham City

The Celtic manager made McGree into his senior international squad at the age of just 18 when he was Socceroos boss and he now has seven caps.

Figures cited in America said any deal made would cost nearly £ 3.5million with additions.

Postecoglou have already sealed the transfers of Japanese trio Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi, the three of which are now training in Lennoxtown ahead of the Premiership resuming against Hibs a week this evening.

Talks are underway on a permanent £ 6million deal for defender Cameron Carter-Vickers on loan from Tottenham, while Irish teenager Johnny Kenny is on Sligo Rovers’ doorstep.

Getting a permanent deal for Jota would be another huge boost for the club boss and supporters, with the Portuguese already causing a sensation.

The forward has scored eight goals this season for Postecoglou and created many more before a hamstring injury suffered against Hearts in early December forced him to retire.

However, Jota is working on his return to fitness and Celtic could now keep him for the long term if the deal can be finalized with McGree, also now a serious contender to be in the fold.


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