Jota loses Saudi ally as Celtic transfer probed by insider who names the REAL Ittihad misstep

Jota of Al Ittihad
Jota of Al Ittihad -Credit:Getty Images

Winger Jota is set to lose a key ally in his Al-Ittihad redemption with boss Marcelo Gallardo set to leave the struggling side.

The winger was made to wait for his chance in the Saudi Pro League after leaving Celtic last summer in a mega-money £25million move to the Middle East - after quickly being bombed out of Saudi Pro League squad by then-boss boss Nuno Espirito Santo. That relegated the 24-year-old to the fringes of the squad and he was only allowed to make appearances in the Asian Champions League - before Nuno's replacement Gallardo included him in the squad list in January.

But after enjoying a career revival under the Argentine, his nightmare in Saudi looks to have taken a fresh twist with reports suggesting the boss will be shown the door following 5-0 thumping at the hands of Steven Gerrard's Al-Ettifaq. Following Gallardo's arrival in November last year, the defending Pro League champions failed to fight their way back into the title race and are languishing in fifth.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano states the relationship between the boss and board is "completely broken" and he has "agreed" to have his contract terminated. And the former has seen Saudi pundits play the blame game - with fingers now being pointed at Jota again.

Speaking to Al Arabiya, Abdo Atif probed the decision to take Jota from the Scottish Premiership and declared the addition of the wide man was ultimately a strategic error. He said: “Jota was contracted for three million euros a year. Why?

"He came for a large sum from Celtic but what made the club decide to go form him? A large sum went out so there was no problem with money.

"That is a major strategic mistake this season. He was excluded and they tried to bring him back in. Whoever signed him needs to be held accountable by the club."