Tottenham are stepping up their efforts to sign Al-Ittihad outcast Jota, according to reports. The Portuguese winger spent last season working under Ange Postecoglou at Celtic, and the Spurs boss is believed to be keen on bringing him to north London.
Jota was among the wave of players to be seduced by a move to the Saudi Pro League during the summer. Reigning champions Al-Ittihad forked out £25million to prise him away from Scotland, but the switch has proven to be a disaster.
Squad regulations saw Jota frozen out of Al-Ittihad’s 25-player Saudi Pro League roster, limiting his game time opportunities to the Asian Champions League. The 24-year-old has scored once in four appearances thus far.
According to HITC Football, Jota is ‘anxious’ to leave the Middle East and reboot his career in Europe, while Al-Ittihad would welcome the chance to shift him from the wage bill.
There has even been talk of the Saudi champions ripping up his contract and allowing him to leave for free. Spurs are reportedly in the thick of negotiations with Al-Ittihad as Postecoglou looks to reunite with the former Hoops star.
In the two years he spent at Celtic Park – initially on loan before signing permanently – Jota managed an impressive 28 goals in 83 appearances. The wide man struck 15 times in all competitions last campaign.
There is plenty of time left in the month, but Postecoglou does not expect anything earth-shattering to unfold. “Nothing magical’s going to happen in the January window,” he said. “What we need to do is just keep building.
“We’ve had one window with this team to change it around, to do things differently. The fact that we’re in the position we are is credit to the players. For all the challenges we’ve had, we just kept ploughing forward and that’s what we’ll do.”