By Noel Whelan

26th Jun, 2022 | 8:06am

Celtic fans 'licking their lips' after 'huge' Jota update - pundit

Celtic fans will be “licking their lips” as Jota closes in on a permanent move to Parkhead, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Aberdeen and Premier League forward insisted signing Jota would be a “huge” deal for the Hoops.

FootballScotland reported last week (22 June) that the 23-year-old is “extremely close” to returning to Celtic from Benfica.

It is claimed work has been going on over a £6.5million switch since the end of Jota’s successful 2021-22 campaign on loan with the Bhoys.

He scored 13 times and provided 14 assists in 40 games across all competitions as Celtic regained the Scottish Premiership title.

Asked for his verdict on a permanent move for Jota, Whelan told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “That would be huge.

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“What an outstanding performer and player.

“That’s one that the Celtic fans will be licking their lips at. That’s one name they would want straight away back in the club and in the team.

“He was a joy to watch, fantastic and exciting. He fits straight into the methodology of how the manger wants to play.

“If they can’t get that deal done on a permanent then a loan, again, would strengthen Celtic and their push to retain the title next season.”

Celtic have already added fellow 2021-22 loan star Cameron Carter-Vickers on a permanent deal for Tottenham.

The only addition to the 2021-22 squad so far this summer has been Dundee United goalkeeper Benji Siegrist on a free transfer.

In other news, Kieran Maguire has revealed Celtic are set to make a “£20million” announcement amid a “big-ticket” transfer claim.