DAVID Turnbull has revealed the Celtic players are hoping their team mate Jota agrees to sign a permanent deal with Parkhead club at the end of the season when his loan finishes.

The Portuguese winger, who scored his side’s opening goal in a 2-1 win over Aberdeen in a cinch Premiership match in Glasgow yesterday, is set to stay in Scotland for the 2021/22 campaign.

However, Celtic have the option to sign the skilful player from his parent club Benfica if they meet the £6.5m asking price and supporters are eager for them to do so.

Scotland internationalist Turnbull has enjoyed playing alongside Jota in the last few months and admitted that he and all his team mates would love to see him stay long-term.

Asked if they have been urging the 22-year-old to sign, he said: “No, not really, we hope so. It is up to them and the club to decide that, but I’m sure the boys would be keen on him doing that anyway. 

“He seems to be enjoying life in Glasgow, on the pitch you can see that. And away from the pitch he seems to be enjoying it as well, apart from the weather. Seems to be loving life.

“Jota’s been absolutely flying and we are pleased for him. From the first minute he’s been excellent both on and off the ball. He’s been doing what he needs to do. He’s chipping in for the team by scoring goals and that has been excellent. It’s great for him and it’s great for the side.”

One summer signing who has struggled to make a significant impact is James McCarthy – but the Republic of Ireland internationalist played his first full 90 minutes yesterday and helped to set up the winning goal.

Turnbull is confident the former Hamilton, Wigan, Everton and Crystal Palace man will flourish going forward and thinks he will be an important player during their run of 10 games over the festive period.  

“He did excellently in his first 90 minutes,” he said. “I thought Macca was brilliant. He showed his bit of quality at the second goal with a nice wee chop and great through ball to Liel (Abada). I think he showed throughout the game how good he can be.

“We are going to need everybody. You saw a few boys getting on as subs late on, and a few boys got called on earlier.

“We are going to need to count on everybody as there is a lot of games coming up in December and it is about sticking together and working as a team.

“Every game is the same, we know we have to win. We didn’t really focus too much on the Rangers result on Sunday, that was on before us. But it’s good that we got that win and matched that and we can kick on now.”

The playmaker, who initiated the attack that led to Jota’s goal, was pleased that Celtic, who played against Bayer Leverkusen in Germany on Thursday night, avoided dropping points against Aberdeen.

Turnbull continued: “It was a great result on Sunday. It was always going to be a tough game, especially after the game we had on Thursday night. We were all looking to get that result we needed and it was great for the boys.

“Aberdeen are a good side and they caused us problems, but we dealt with that. I felt we went and took the game to them and managed to get the result we needed.

“It’s just about getting on with it. You could see that with the changes the manager made for this game and for the game in Germany on Thursday night.

“That’s just the way it has to be and it’s been the same way all season. At the moment, it’s just game after game and that’s what everybody wants. We want to play as many games as we can and it’s great that we have one again soon.”

Turnbull was unconcerned at the manner of Callum McGregor’s winning goal – Aberdeen left back Jonny Hayes attempted to shell the ball upfield and his clearance hit the Celtic captain and spun into his own net.

“We created a lot of chances and sometimes you just need that wee bit of luck in front of goal,” he said. “I don’t think Cal knew too much about it. It was great for him to get the goal and that’s what sealed it for us and we will take that.”