Al Ittihad closed off their transfer window by signing Luiz Felipe from Real Betis. The deal saw the Italian Internationalist swap Spain for the Saudi Pro League but it also had ramifications for former Celt, Jota. The Portuguese winger was signed by Al Ittihad in the summer for £25m but now, he looks set to be confined to the training pitch owing to regulations on registering foreign players.
According to Hattan Alnajjar via Transfer News Live on Twitter/X, the player has not been included for the side’s squad for the league meaning that he will likely be set to leave the club at the first available opportunity.
🚨 Jota will not be part of Al-Ittihad’s squad list for league games, with new signing Luiz Felipe set to be registered ahead of him. ❌🇸🇦
He’s played just 133 minutes since joining for €30m in July and they already want him to leave. 👋
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) September 7, 2023
It is a tremendous waste of talent but you can sympathise with the financial motivation behind the move. In a week, he will have been earning four times what he would earn at Celtic and indeed most clubs. It should act as a warning to young players moving out there that the grass isn’t always greener.
Al Ittihad likely don’t see much to lose from cutting a player that they’ve only recently spent tens of millions of pounds on. The Jeddah club will likely look to free up a space for another name from Europe that garners more fanfare – like Fabinho, Kante and Benzema.
For Jota, though, he’s in no-man’s land. He left Celtic for a lucrative proposal but no one will be able or willing to match those wages in Europe. Celtic could be a route back to football but it seems far fetched.
In 83 appearances for Celtic, Jota has scored 28 goals and assisted 26 times. The Celtic supporters adore the Portuguese star and if there was a chance at a return then we’d happily welcome this.