Paulo Bernardo transfer latest as Celtic negotiate with Benfica over 'smaller fee'

Paulo Bernardo impressed during his loan stint at Celtic
-Credit: (Image: SNS Group)

Celtic are reportedly locked in talks with Benfica over a reduced fee for loan star Paulo Bernardo.

Bernardo, 22, impressed during his season-long stint at Parkhead and made the difference from the bench by assisting Adam Idah's Scottish Cup winner against Rangers. The Portugal Under-21 captain has a £6million release clause in his contract which Celts could activate to sign him permanently.

But reports in Portugal state that the Hoops are attempting to negotiate a reduced fee for the talented playmaker. Outlet A Bola claims the Scottish champions are not willing to meet the option-to-buy clause but are ready to negotiate a smaller fee for the midfielder.

While he wasn't always a starter, Bernardo did produce some big moments for Celtic, breaking the deadlock in a nervy trip to Dundee in December before netting a screamer in the Ne'er Day derby win at Parkhead. He was also trusted in Champions League games by Brendan Rodgers, who will believe he can take his game to the next level.

It's understood Benfica manager Roger Schmidt is ready to offload the academy graduate too after deciding he has no future with the Portuguese giants.