Celtic: Jota close to joining permanent deal; Man City duo Ko Itakura and Taylor Harwood-Bellis under surveillance | football news

Celtic are on the verge of a permanent transfer to sign Portuguese winger Jota – with a deal expected to be finalized this week.

The 23-year-old has told Benfica he wants to stay with the Scottish Premiership champions after initially being loaned out in the summer.

Jota played a key role in Celtic’s double-winning side – contributing to 27 goals in all competitions as Ange Postecoglou’s side won the League and League Cup.

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After Celtic were crowned Scottish champions by Ange Postecoglou in their first season, take a look at some of the key games on their journey to the title

Celtic have further talks with Benfica this week, with a £6million call option clause already agreed. However, Benfica would like a significant future sale percentage to be added to the deal.

What does Jota bring to Celtic?

Sky Sports’ Sahil Jaidka

It’s no surprise that Celtic fans are desperate for a permanent deal for the Portuguese star after such an impressive loan spell.

Not only has the winger shown he has an eye for goal, but his pace, skill and movement have been a real handful for defence.

If you score 13 goals and provide 14 assists across all competitions in your first season at a new club, fans will be hoping there’s more to come once Jota has a full pre-season under his helm.

Deadline arrival has bought into Celtic’s approach under Postecoglou to be relentless on and off the ball and if the early signs tell, fans have every right to be excited for what’s to come.

Celtic are considering a move for the Man City duo

Ko Itakura was successfully loaned to Schalke
Ko Itakura was successfully loaned to Schalke

Celtic also oversee Manchester City duo Ko Itakura and Taylor Harwood-Bellis.

The Hoops are looking to bolster their defensive options this summer, with a left-back and another central defender being targeted – regardless of whether Cameron Carter-Vickers makes his loan from Spurs permanent.

Man City defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis spent last season on loan at Stoke City
Man City defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis spent last season on loan at Stoke City

Harwood-Bellis, 20, spent last year in the Championship at Stoke City and is an England Under-21 international.

Itakura, watched by Celtic last summer, was in Germany with Schalke this season.

The Germany club have the option to buy the Japan international but it is understood he is struggling to pay the agreed £6million fee.

The Scottish champions are monitoring the situation of both players but no contact has been made at this time.

Celtic have a good relationship with City Football Group and have signed a number of Man City players in recent years including Patrick Roberts, Dedryck Boyata, Jason Denayer, Olivier Ntcham, John Guidetti and Daniel Arzani.

Manager Postecoglou and striker Daizen Maeda both came from Yokohama F Marinos – part of City Football Group – and recently Man City’s head of scouting and recruitment Mark Lawwell joined Celtic in a similar role.

With Spurs talks ongoing for Carter-Vickers, the Hoops are believed to be on the lookout for an additional centre-back, with Christopher Jullien’s future at the club uncertain.

Meanwhile, Celtic are prioritizing a number of left-back options this summer.

Talks have taken place with Hammarby’s Iraq international Mohanad Jeahze but have not gone any further.

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