I will be surprised, to say the least, if the Jota story has even a whiff of truth to it. But let me tell you; I will not be overly concerned. If his ambition is chasing the money then he’s going to go this summer regardless of where he ends up, and all that’s left is to get as large a transfer fee for him as we can. Other Celtic players are linked with moves; I did say a week or so ago that I had heard that he was going to the first.
But I didn’t expect him to go somewhere like that. If he accepts that move, then he should spare us all the schtick about doing it for “football reasons.” He’s on the brink of his national team. Moving to that backwater, no matter the financial incentives, takes care of playing for Portugal and much else besides. It’s about nothing except the money.
Rumours of this sort recently swirled about Hatate. His agent was quick to scorn those reports, making it clear that he recognises that the quality teams and the quality players want to play in Europe. Oil rich clubs in that corner of the globe throwing money at the greediest players … it’s football, I guess, but not as we know it.
We’re a club founded to help the poor. Someone who wants to go over there and devote the best years of his career to a bloodthirsty, brutal, misogynist oligarchy is someone grossly at odds with our culture and values anyway, no matter how many times he’s been in The Brazen Head. The Saudi regime is one of the most callous and repressive on the planet, and if someone wants to go over there and give them legitimacy that’s his own lookout.
The money will be obscene, but then the people who’ll be paying it are pretty obscene themselves. The consolation –for Celtic –is that this will not be a cheap deal to do, and they will need to throw quite a bit of that cash in our general direction.
I am always sad to see good players leave this club, and he’s a good player. But really, if he leaves us to go and play his football over there, well there are many reasons why that kind of decision will leave a bad taste. I’ve got to be honest, if this turns out to be true I won’t even pretend to wish him well. It would be a lamentable decision, made for all the wrong reasons.