7 Celtic transfer options from South America as expert scout Mark Cooper arrives including former targets and 'project' stars

Brendan Rodgers has begun his summer staff revamp following Mark Lawwell's exit in March.

The Celtic boss has officially drafted in a new recruitment staffer to help with the new signing plans and he's an expert in the South American market. The arrival of Mark Cooper on an official, permanent basis, leaves the Hoops in an interesting position as the club and Rodgers seeks to bolster the squad for next term with Champions League and European progression as a key ambition should they lift the Scottish Premiership title this season.

Cooper has been residing in Argentina but has been enticed back to Glasgow in a bid to help Celts get to the next level. There's bound to be some top class talent in the Americas and the 40-year-old will likely have a book filled with names.

But here Football Scotland has taken a closer look at seven as potential Celtic options in the summer.

Caio Paulista

The Brazilian left-back, 25, is in the prime of his career and cannot be considered a "project" which has been the stick Celtic fans have beaten the club with in recent times. He's 6ft tall which is decent for a full-back and he's managed two assists from 12 games since he arrived at Palmeiras in January. Would be a serious challenger for Greg Taylor on the flank. Is contracted until 2028 which would, however, prove costly.

Victor Hugo

An attacking midfielder who would be looking to perhaps replace Matt O'Riley should it be necessary in the summer. He's only 19 and has played at Brazilian under-20s level which is the exact sort of criteria Celts are looking for in their new scouting philosophy. Has already made 13 appearances for the first-team at Flamengo and is considered one for the future. Again, he's tied down until 2028.

Fausto Vera

We at Football Scotland had the misfortune of exclusively revealing Celtic's decision to stop their pursuit of the Argentine back in July 2022 after opting to bring in Aaron Mooy on a free. That was a stroke of genius but with the 24-year-old still young and in the Corinthians side, they could look to revisit as they're seemingly after a defensive midfield option. There is still Serie A and Premier League interest in the player but Celts could move again.

Leo Jardim

Joe Hart is retiring in the summer and if Liam Kelly does decide to make a freebie move, he'll unlikely be the main man. Experienced Jardim could be that guy as, at 29, he has plenty of knowledge and seasons under his belt. The Brazilian is a Trophee des Champions winner with Lille and a Copa de Brasil victor with Gremio and with just 12 months on his deal he could be a cheap(ish) option to consider. A goalie still in his 20s is always a positive!


Another left-back, the 26-year-old is a winner of the Turkish Super Cup with Trabzonspor who currently plays with Cruzeiro in his home country. Likes to get forward and is defensively sound and could offer Taylor some challenges at perhaps a cheaper pricetag than the likes of Paulista as he's dealt in until 2026.

Ignacio Ramirez

The striker is a 27-year-old readymade hitman who has been playing with Newell's Old Boys. Has played most of his career in Argentina outside of a loan switch to Saint-Etienne in 2022 but he's scored plenty of goals wherever he's been. Has also represented Paraguay at under-20s level which would be of interest to the scouting stats.


Football Scotland exclusively revealed to you back in July of last year that Celtic had made contact with the winger's representatives before Ange Postecoglou arrived. It was Mark Cooper who was acting on behalf of the Hoops that day and they revisited that interest in 2023. As it transpired the £5million winger would go on to join São Paulo from Gremio but the fact that Cooper and Celts have been in touch previously may see them try again for the man who's still only 26-years-old.