There are two schools of thought on the Jota situation, as it presently stands.
One good and one not so good.
Notice that I haven’t said one good and one bad.
Because even the not so good one might well have a happy ending, if people get serious.
In the good one, the deal is done and we’re only waiting to announce it.
You know something? That seems increasingly unlikely.
The deal is not done.
If it was, he would have been sweating it out on the training pitch with the rest of the team today.
Before this morning, there were reasons for believing in the best case scenario.
Today there are just questions over it, and what we’re doing. It was all well and good when the players were all still on holiday, but today they were back. So this wasn’t a case of the guy being away travelling and the deal not getting done because of that.
The Carter Vickers deal was completed when he was on international duty.
This one could have been announced with Jota not even in the country.
So the work with the squad is underway already and he’s not taking part in it.
If he’s committed to this club, or intends to be, he should have been there.
What his absence tells us – definitively – is that this isn’t a done deal. That this isn’t complete yet. That somebody – either on his side or ours – is delaying and waiting for God knows what.
That’s not tenable. The team jets out to Austria at the end of the week.
His loan contract must be up already.
The option on Carter Vickers’ deal expired on the 15th and it’s clear – from his absence – that he is no longer a Celtic player.
Leaks to the press that the club is “relaxed” by the time this is taking bring me no comfort whatsoever. The last time I heard the club talking like that was when they were “relaxed” about the time Eddie Howe was taking to make up his mind.
There comes a time when the club has to draw a line in the sand if that’s what it’s going to take, or admit to a problem and level with the fans if that’s the situation.
There is no more kidding ourselves on that this one is settled, and as long as it’s not then anything can happen.
I still think we’ll get it done.
But the delay is inexplicable, and it’s starting to become a genuine cause for concern.
Celtic need to move this along, one way or another, and fast. Because the manager wanted the big issues settled before today … and all he’s got is a team weaker than the one that finished the last campaign.
That is not tenable either folks.
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