Celtic: Jota close to joining in permanent deal; Man City duo Ko Itakura and Taylor Harwood-Bellis being monitored | Football News

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Celtic are closing in on a permanent transfer to sign Portuguese winger Jota – with a deal expected to be completed this week.

The 23-year-old has told Benfica he wishes to remain at the Scottish Premiership champions after initially joining on loan in the summer.

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

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After Celtic were crowned champions of Scotland in Ange Postecoglou’s first season in charge, take a look at some of the key games on their road to the title

Celtic are holding further talks with Benfica this week, with an option-to-buy clause already agreed at over £ 6m. Benfica will however want a significant future sell-on percentage added to the deal.

What does Jota bring to Celtic?

Sky Sports’ Sahil Jaidka

It comes as no surprise that Celtic fans are desperate for the Portuguese star to join the club on a permanent deal after such an impressive loan spell.

The winger has not only shown he has an eye for goal but his pace, skill and movement has been a real handful for defences to deal with.

To score 13 goals and also make 14 assists across all competitions during your first season at a new club will give supporters hope there is even more to come once Jota has a full pre-season under him.

The deadline-day arrival has bought into Celtic’s approach under Postecoglou of being relentless with the ball and without it, and, if the early signs are anything to go by, the fans have every right to be excited for what is to come.

Celtic considering move for Man City duo

Ko Itakura enjoyed a successful loan spell at Schalke
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Ko Itakura enjoyed a successful loan spell at Schalke

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

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The Hoops are looking to bolster their defensive options this summer, with a left-back and another center-back 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
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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 U21 international.

Itakura, who Celtic looked at last summer, has been in Germany with Schalke this season.

The German club have an option to buy the Japan international, but it is understood they are struggling to pay the agreed £ 6m fee.

The Scottish champions are monitoring the situations of both players, but, at this stage, no contact has been made.

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

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

While talks are ongoing with Spurs for Carter-Vickers, it is believed the Hoops are on the lookout for an additional center-back, with Christopher Jullien’s future at the club uncertain.

Meanwhile, Celtic are looking at a number of options for left-back this summer as a matter of priority.

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

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 10 and closes at midnight on September 1 in Scotland?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumors in our dedicated Transfer Center blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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