Jota transfer latest as Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou responds after ‘deal agreed’ claims


Ange Postecoglou wants his Celtic front runners to motor through the title finish line at Tannadice this week.

The Hoops are now within touching distance of the Premiership trophy after seeing off Hearts 4-1.

With a nine point lead over Rangers – who play on Sunday afternoon – and a huge goal difference they’re all but champions.

But assuming Gers win, Postecoglou urged his side to clinch it in style with a victory over Dundee United on Wednesday night.

He’ll be watching the ‘Bad Guys’ movie with his sons today instead of tuning into events at Ibrox.

Without saying it, Postecoglou knows the title is Celtic’s.

But he wants to secure it in the same fashion as they’ve gone about their business for the entirety of this campaign.


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He said: “I’ll win it any old way, it doesn’t really bother me.

“What’s important is that I think we’ve earned it, and we continue to earn it.

“We’re not collapsing over the line. We’re strong and we’re committed.

“Our performances and the challenges we’ve overcome are reflective of that.

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“Any way it comes is fine. But more importantly, it’s fully deserved.

“We are now looking forward to Wednesday.

“I said to the boys before the game that there are many ways you can finish something off.

“You can collapse through the finishing tape or you can go through it at top speed.

“And that’s what we want to do. It’s what we’ve been doing all year.

“We’ll go hard on Wednesday and get back here and go hard again in the last game.

“My plans on Sunday? As I’ve said before, my boys take charge.

“There’s a new flick out called ‘The Bad Guys’. That’s on the agenda, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Postecoglou can’t say it’s done just yet but he couldn’t hide his pride in the players who’ve reclaimed the title.

The fans celebrated like champions after goals from Daizen Maeda, Kyogo, Matt O’Riley and Giorgos Giakoumakis sealed another win.

And after a 30 game unbeaten run in the league, the manager is delighted at how they’ve responded to a tricky start under his stewardship.

He said: “There is nothing wrong with enjoying the journey. It’s not always just about the destination.

“I thought it was another top performance from the boys today and that’s the greatest reward you can get, to see the joy that it brings people.

“Whether that’s your own family, the people who love you, or the supporters who love this football club.

“I’m really proud of the group.

“We conceded early today which hasn’t happened too much in this run.

“You think a little bit about how the group will respond to that.

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“But they were outstanding again and didn’t miss a beat.

“They stayed on course in terms of playing out football and we scored four good goals.

“We have conceded to teams before and fought back – it happened at Ibrox – but we knew today it was significant.

“You could sense there was nervousness around the stadium.

“But it’s about how people deal with that.

“I never had any doubts, it didn’t worry me.

“This group finds a way to respond, while not veering away from the basic values ​​and fundamentals we have as a team.

“With everything you do, you lay down a marker.

What you want to do is come back next time and hit a new target. And that’s what we’ll do.

“When the story is written of this season, people will probably reflect that it’s been a fairly outstanding effort on all fronts from us.

“I know I talk a lot about this being just the first step of the rebuild.

“But I don’t say that to dismiss the extraordinary effort it has taken this year and the achievement of this group of players.

“Some people probably didn’t expect me to be sitting here right now.

“But within the group we had a strong belief we could do something special this season.

“That doesn’t guarantee success but we were determined to produce a football team that in a way that excites our supporters.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MAY 07: Celtic’s Kyogo Furuhashi (R) celebrates making it 2-1 with Jota during a cinch Premiership match between Celtic and Hearts at Celtic Park, on May 07, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group)

“That was our primary target and I always believed in it.”

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Postecoglou praised the role of the Celtic supporters in their title turnaround.

But after they gave the Portuguese winger a standing ovation yesterday, he again insisted they still have work to do to get him from Benfica permanently this summer.

Despite reports last week of a £6.5 million deal being agreed, Postecoglou said: “It was reciprocal today, I think Jota showed his love for the Celtic fans and this club.

“I understand. He’s humble enough to know that he’s got the talent but he had the talent last year – you need the platform.

“This football club has given him that.

“In terms of next year, with him and Cameron (Carter-Vickers) we’re in a similar boat.

“If everyone wants something to happen it’ll happen.

“But right now the most important thing is they represent this club to the best of their ability and bring success to Celtic.

“Some players might get an offer they can’t refuse. There’s no guarantee any of us will be here next season – I mean I hope I am, but apart from that!

“You have to focus on the present and Jota was great again today.

“The supporters have definitely played their part this year. Our home form has been ridiculous.

“We have hardly conceded any goals and we have scored so many. That’s been a collective effort.

“Through the rough beginning, the supporters stuck by us and gave us the encouragement we needed.

“They have been there for the journey so we look forward to the next couple of games and hopefully we finish it off in style.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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