The Chronicle reported that Rafa Benitez was after a playmaker who had recently played in La Liga and we were linked with Brentford playmaker Jota (full name Jose Ignacio Peleteiro Ramallo) in mid-June when Sky Sports reported the Newcastle manager was interested in signing his fellow countryman.
And with Sky Sports reporting the player will not be played (risked) in the club’s friendly against Aldershot Town tonight because they are expecting a bid from a Premier League club, maybe Newcastle are that club who are close to a deal for the 26 year-old?
The other Premier League clubs said to be interested in signing him are Everton, West Ham and Huddersfield Town.
26 year-old Spanish playmaker Jota – plays for Brentford
Jota was on loan at Spanish club Eibar during almost the whole of 2016, but returned to Brentford at the end of last year – maybe the Newcastle scouts watched him during the first half of last season while they were scouting newly signed French center-back Florian Lejeune, who played at Eibar last season.
Jota was simply brilliant when he returned to the Bees in January and in the last five months of the Championship season Jota seemed to come alive and scored 12 goals and laid on five assists in 21 total appearances.
Jota now has just one year left on his contract, but if Rafa is close to signing him then the manager must think he can make the big step up to the very tough Premier League.
Jota was signed by Brentford in the summer of 2014 from Celta Vigo on a three year deal for an undisclosed fee – and that contract included a one year option, which was taken up by the Bees.
In August of 2015 he suffered damaged ankle ligaments in the opening game of the season against Ipswich – and was out of action until that December.
In January of 2016, he left on loan to Eibar until June 2017 due to personal reasons; Jota was unsettled and seemed to be missing his family and that was the reported to be the main reason for his return to Spain.
He has now played 74 games for Brentford with 23 goals and 9 assists – and while at Eibar on loan a couple of times in 2013-2014 and then in 2016 he played a total of 57 times and scored 11 goals with 3 assists for them.
But he’s played excellently this year in the Championship and for just £8M and with ready cash looking tight at Newcastle, he would seem a very decent buy for us if Rafa really rates him.
It would be good to get another player through the door soon and maybe Jota is the player the Chronicle were referring to?
What do you think?