Star player Jota has been left out of friendlies against Oxford and Lausanne-Sport but Brentford boss Dean Smith says that he will play on Wednesday unless a bid comes in.
Newcastle were claimed to be interested in the attacking midfielder back in June and then nine days ago Sky Sports revealed that the player was being pulled out of friendly action because Brentford had been told a bid was imminent.
Still not naming the club involved, Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith has confirmed though that they were expecting a bid from the Premier League club concerned, but that if nothing happens in the meantime, Jota will play on Wednesday at Oxford.
A number of other Premier League clubs are also credited with interest but when it comes to letting transfer situations drag on, nobody would be surprised if it is indeed Newcastle being the club in question.
Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith:
“If nobody comes in with this imminent bid, which we were told about, he will be available for the Oxford United game. We have had that chat and he will be happy to do so.”
The Mag – 7 July 2017:
Sky Sports are reporting that Jota has been pulled out of tonight’s friendly against Aldershot, with the broadcaster being told that it is due to a transfer offer being imminent.
The Spanish attacking midfielder had a meeting yesterday with Brentford officials and it was agreed between them that the player should skip the game, as they have been led to believe that a Premier League club is set to match their £8m asking price.
Sky Sports say that they don’t know the identity of the Premier League but have been told that Newcastle, Everton, Huddersfield, Brighton and West Ham, have all enquired about the player.
Only last month (see below), Sky Sports revealed that Rafa Benitez was trying to land his countryman.
Recalled from a loan spell in La Liga, Jota started 19 Championship games after the new year and scored a very impressive 12 goals (and got five assists) from midfield.
Interestingly, if Jota did end up at Newcastle, he would become the second ever signing who had played previously for SD Eibar, both in this transfer window and in Newcastle’s entire history.
The midfielder having played alongside Florian Lejeune in a handful of matches for Eibar last season before Brentford recalled him.
The Mag – 13 June 2017:
Newcastle United are attempting to land attacking midfielder Jota.
Signed by Brentford from Celta Vigo as a 22 year old in summer 2014, the Spaniard initially thrived under then Manager Mark Warburton and scored 11 Championship goals and grabbed three assists in 2014/15.
However, he then became unsettled, primarily for family reasons, so was allowed to go back to Spain and joined Eibar on an 18 month loan.
Due to limited game time in La Liga, Jota was recalled by Brentford in January and was thrown back into Championship action, starting off with a substitute appearance against Newcastle when the Magpies won 2-1 away from home. Jota introduced for the final 10 minutes after Daryl Murphy scored what proved to be the winner.
The second half of the season saw Jota score a remarkable 12 goals from midfield, plus five assists, despite only starting 19 Championship matches (plus two appearances off the bench).
With only a year left on his contract, Brentford are keen to sell Jota but Sky Sports claim that if they don’t get their valuation matched (said to be £8m), they won’t let the player leave.
The broadcaster report that as well as Newcastle, both Everton and West Ham are interested also, whilst Burnley and Swansea sent scouts to watch the attacking midfielder towards the end of last season.
Jota turns 26 on Friday and is another for the (ever expanding) notebook.