Saudi official closes door on Celtic move for £25m winger

Celtic are unlikely to bring Jota back to the club this summer after a Saudi official stated that the winger would remain with Al Ittihad.

Jota of Al-Ittihad Club gestures during the Saudi Pro League match between Al Ittihad and Al Hilal on September 01, 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

The Portuguese attacker left Celtic in a deal worth £25m last year but the move hasn’t panned out as he would’ve hoped.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Sport, Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Saud told the Eight Sport Podcast said that Jota will be remaining with the Jeddah club despite links of a sensational Celtic return.

“Former coach Nuno Santo was the one who requested Jota after a letter reached the recruitment committee. But when you contract a player you want from your budget and he does not play, this gives us the impression that there is an administrative error that can be fixed.”

Joao Neves Filipe Jota celebrates scoring the second goal during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and theRangers at on September 03, 2022 Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“Ittihad’s management informed the player recruitment program that it does not want any new foreign player and will continue with Grohe, Kante, Jota, Benzema, Hamdallah, Coronado, Romarinho, Hegazy next season.”

Jota has made just 22 appearances in all competitions in Saudi, scoring four goals and assisting once. The form and adulation in the Saudi Pro League is a far cry from his time at Celtic, where he produced extraordinary moments in the Hoops.

It was hoped that he would kick on under Brendan Rodgers after making 83 appearances for Ange. In those games, he scored 28 goals and assisted on 26 occasions, which resulted in links to a number of clubs.

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Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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