Brazilian talent Fernando Henrique frozen out at Gremio after Celtic speculation
Celtic-linked Fernando Henrique has been frozen out of action at Gremio with his side having suffered relegation to Serie B.
The Hoops were linked with the midfielder back in October, with Brazilian media reporting that Celtic were keen on taking him at the end of the Serie A campaign and that contact had been made [Globo].
It was stated back then that he was worth £3.6m [Globo]. However, to this day, Henrique remains with Gremio and watched on as they suffered a painful relegation down to the second tier.
He hasn’t played a single minute since mid-February. He also hasn’t featured in any of their opening 4 Serie B games and hasn’t made the matchday squad in either of the last 2.
Manager Rocher Machado, who took over from Luiz Felipe Scolari back in October, has continued to see no use for the player. In addition to that, the club are in desperate need to sell some of their players when the European window opens in the summer [Portdal de Gremista].
The player stoked the fire at the end of last year when he started following Celtic on Instagram. However, speculation hasn’t been as prevalent since the turn of the year with the Hoops not making a move in January.
Fernando Henrique – a potential midfield option if necessary
Henrique, a box-to-box midfielder, is still only 20 years old and is clearly in need of a new direction when it comes to his career. Opportunities with Gremio just haven’t been forthcoming for the best part of 6 months now. Given it’s clear that he isn’t a part of the manager’s Serie B plans, he’ll likely be itching to depart in the summer.
It would also be interesting to note whether Gremio still feel £3.6m is a fair price for Henrique. A player who’s still only had a handful of senior games to his name.
The player’s contract is up at the end of 2024. That means the Brazilian club don’t necessarily have to sell. However, given they’re looking to bring some cash in after their relegation, there’s no reason why a cut-price offer shouldn’t be reasonable.
But Henrique also plays in a position of the field that’s crowded at Celtic just now. Callum McGregor, Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley, David Turnbull, and Yosuke Ideguchi are all likely still going to be there next term. That’s not the easiest group to break into.
If a move for Henrique was to quickly get costly, Ange would have every reason to look at his current options and be happy to move on.
Regardless, if Celtic want to make a move for him, the time would be this summer. A lack of minutes and a club itching to strike a deal? It should be a recipe for successful negotiations.