Rangers move a step closer to sealing January playmaker deal - report
By Alex Stevens
Rangers have moved a step closer to signing Brentford playmaker Jota in the January transfer window.
The Scottish Sun claimed earlier this month that manager Mark Warburton wants to be reunited with the player who he brought to Griffin Park in the summer of 2014.
The Spaniard is midway through a season-long loan at Eibar but the La Liga outfit are set to cut his deal short next month, allowing him to return to parent club Brentford.
Jota has failed to establish himself as a first-team regular at Eibar, making just six appearances in all competitions this season.
He has not started a league game for the club since November and they are prepared to let him seek more first-team action elsewhere next month.
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Eibar sporting director Fran Garagarza told the Daily Record: “Brentford have an option to recall Jota from his loan in January.
“He’s disappointed that he hasn’t played more games for us and he is within his rights to ask for the loan deal to be terminated. If the player wants that and Brentford wants that, then it’s up to them and there’s nothing we can do.
“He trains well, he is very methodical, calm, correct, respectful and has never had any negative gestures towards the coaching staff. But he expected to play more and is not satisfied because of that.”
Rangers boss Warburton should be able to acquire Jota on the cheap, as his contract expires next summer.
Jota, 25, has made only five appearances for Eibar this season but has a fine record of the club during two spells of 11 goals from 55 matches.
The Spaniard was similarly productive at Brentford, where he played a starring role as they reached the play-offs during Warburton’s first season at the club.
He scored 11 league goals, and Rangers will hope he can provide a similar impact in the Scottish Premiership.
The Glasgow giants are currently 11 points behind leaders and Old Firm rivals Celtic, and want to maintain their lead of third-placed Aberdeen, who are just seven points off the pace.
Football Insider verdict:
Jota has the pedigree that Rangers are seeking. He has a one-in-five record at Eibar and Brentford, a creditable return for an attacking midfielder, and has a fine track record in the second tiers of the English and Spanish leagues. It is likely that he could also be available next month, as he is barely getting a look-in at La Liga outfit Eibar. But this means that the 25-year-old will not be match sharp, and may not be able to hit the ground running in the Scottish top flight. Warburton badly needs someone who can deliver straight away, rather than have a lengthy bedding-in process.
In other Rangers transfer news, the club have reportedly been offered a Championship attacker.