Brentford manager Dean Smith has no concerns over the attitude of Everton and West Ham United target Jota despite suggestions of an "imminent" bid for the talented Spaniard. He also praised the playmaker's attitude during the Bees' pre-season friendly against Oxford United on Wednesday evening (19 July).
Jota played for over an hour and set up Florian Jozefzoon's opener as Brentford edged a thrilling encounter at the Kassam Stadium to come away with a 4-3 win. The Spaniard helped the west London outfit maintain their unbeaten pre-season record, but his run-out against Oxford may be one of his last for Smith's side.
Everton and West Ham are both believed to be interested in Jota, who is valued at around £8m ($10.3m). The former Celta Vigo star has designs on testing himself in England's top-flight but could find regular opportunities hard to come by at Everton, who have already signed Davy Klaassen and Wayne Rooney so far this summer.
Their pursuit of Swansea City star Gylfi Sigurdsson also suggests that they are looking at other targets.
Competition for places is not as tough at West Ham, but Slaven Bilic's men are currently prioritising deals for two other attackers in the form of Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic.
Along with Everton and West Ham, Newcastle United are also looking into signing Jota but are finding it hard to capture Rafa Benitez's targets this summer. It remains to be seen if the aforementioned Premier League trio follow up their interest with an official bid, which has not yet materialised according to Smith, who said the 26-year-old would be happy to remain at Griffin Park if a "substantial offer" did not arrive.
"I've had no qualms about the commitment of Jota and long may that continue," Smith told West London Sport. "He was happy to be out there and looked like he was enjoying his football, as he has done since the start of pre-season.
"It's no saga. Jota was led to believe there was an imminent bid. I don't believe it was a tactic. It hasn't materialised as yet and Jota stuck to his word, pulled on a Brentford shirt, and I thought he did really well. I've said from the start that unless someone comes in with a substantial bid for him he's staying at Brentford, and he's happy to do so."