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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Aidan Smith

Celtic star Jota set for summer transfer exit as he 'agrees terms' with new club

Celtic star Jota has agreed transfer terms with Saudi outfit Al Ittihad, according to reports.

The Portuguese winger has been linked with a move away from Parkhead this summer, with manager Ange Postecoglou exiting the club for Tottenham Hotspur.

Now reports in Saudi claim that Jota is close to a sensational move to join the likes of Karim Benzema and N'Golo Kante.

News outlet AlkassChannel, which is verified and has over 1.4million followers on Twitter, tweeted: "The Saudi club Al Ittihad has agreed with the Portuguese player Jota on all terms and details of the contract to join its ranks during the current summer transfer period. And a few minor details remain with his club."

The links come just days after midfielder Reo Hatate was linked with the club, but his agent has since knocked down the claims.

Hatate was a standout for Celtic last term and would have been in the running for player of the season gongs, if it wasn't for the goalscoring record of Kyogo Furuhashi.

The 25-year-old is currently contracted until the summer of 2026, so it would take a bumper offer for Celtic to sell one of their key men.

Jota is currently contracted until 2027 at Celtic, so any transfer fee would need to be substantial for the Hoops to part with the winger.

Meanwhile, Celtic are continuing to pursue targets in Asia following the departure of Ange Postecoglou but a move for South Korean midfielder Yang Hyun-jun appears to be in the balance.

Yang has been quoted in the South Korean media as saying that he wants to sign for Celtic this summer but his club, Gangwon, would rather wait until the end of their season, which finishes in October.

Gangwon sit 11th in the 12-team K-League 1 and would face a relegation play-off if they remain there.

The player’s representatives earlier claimed Yang had been promised he would get the chance to move if a European club came in for him and was frustrated at the club’s stance.

Celtic have achieved success over the past two seasons by recruiting in Asia, with Kyogo Furuhashi named PFA Scotland and Scottish Football Writers’ player of the year last term.

The striker was joined by several Japanese colleagues including Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Tomoki Iwata after Postecoglou arrived from Yokahama F Marinos two years ago. Celtic also signed South Korea striker Oh Hyeon-gyu in January.

New manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to continue the successful recruitment tactic along with the club’s head of scouting and recruitment, Mark Lawwell.

Quoted in several newspapers, Rodgers said: “Over the course of our discussions I’ve seen the market we’re in and how well the recruitment has gone.

“Mark Lawwell has this pipeline of players that are available and I think what he’s done since he’s come in has been really impressive – and the markets he’s been able to tap into. That will continue. That’s where the club is at.

“In terms of recruitment I am the one that knows how I want the team to play and I have to be involved in those discussions. And I will be. Some of those markets haven’t been as readily available to some clubs, that’s something Mark has brought with him in his roles.

“I’m thinking of the Japanese market, the Korean market, Australia and out into Asia. These were players that were untapped and you’re now seeing other clubs trying to tap into that.”

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