Deep breath folks … in and out, in and out.
The saga of the summer is over.
More than a fortnight after the window opened, the worst kept secret in football in Scotland is out. We have completed the signing of Jota, to make this one of the best openings to a transfer window that any of us can remember.
Jota was absolutely exceptional last season, and it is thrilling to be able to write that we have completed the deal to make him a Celtic player.
The cost to the club of doing this business is huge; a £6.4 million fee with God alone knows which add-ons.
The player obviously loved it at Parkhead last season, and he became a fan favourite almost at once.
There was a spell in December-January where we seemed to go a little off the boil, but he rallied to finish the season strong and looked every inch the player we had all fallen in love with in the early part of the campaign.
I think most fans have been sitting wearing down the Refresh button waiting on this being done. The player took a well-earned holiday, and both parties were happy with that as they both knew that the deal was as good as done.
Just the other day he dropped in on his former club to say goodbye to his friends there.
There was never much doubt that this was going to happen, although there was a little late drama when he didn’t sign before pre-season training got underwat. For all that, I never really thought this one would slip away.
The summer spending is now in excess of what we spent last season.
The deals for Carter Vickers and Jota have cost £12 million their own. We’ve spent further money on Maeda and we just signed the Lanus left-back Bernabei for big bucks … by the time this window shuts we might have spent near enough £20 million on this squad.
That is real backing for the boss … and a credit to everyone at Celtic Park who has made it happen.
For all I’m sometimes accused of being down on the board, when they do the business they get the credit they deserve, and congratulations are due to them for making this kind of money available to Ange as he puts the finishing touches to phase one of his Celtic revolution.
Ladies and gents, this is the one we’ve waited for. Enjoy the moment.
There is a lot more to come on this story.
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