Report: Celtic unlikely to move for repeatedly linked Gremio midfielder

By Euan Davidson

December 15, 2021

Despite a steady flow of reports from Brazil, Gremio midfielder Fernando Henrique isn’t a Celtic target after all, according to Football Scotland.

The Brazilian midfielder emerged as a surprise target for the Bhoys earlier this season. Globo in Brazil reported that Celtic had been in touch with Gremio about Henrique. Despite being out of the Gremio team, the defensive midfielder piqued the interest of Celtic supporters.

However, Football Scotland report that Celtic aren’t interested. It appears the supposed interest has been over-stated.

Photo by Wagner Meier/Getty Images

Fernando Henrique played just four times for Gremio this season [Transfermarkt]. His side were relegated, despite being the Copa Libertadores champions just four years ago [ESPN]. It’s been a sharp decline for the Brazilian side, who are likely to proceed without some of their top talents next season.

Instead, Celtic will opt for the likelier solution; Reo Hatate of Kawasaki Frontale, and Yosuke Ideguchi of Gamba Osaka, from the J League.

Earlier, Ange Postecoglou said that he was keen to bring in reinforcements prior to facing Rangers on the 2nd of January. Certainly, the midfield needs work, with Tom Rogic and David Turnbull both playing significant minutes. Turnbull has played in every single competitive Celtic fixture this season.

However, defensive midfield isn’t as big a concern, with James McCarthy, Nir Bitton, Ismaila Soro, Liam Shaw and – of course – Callum McGregor all options.

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Fernando Henrique move seemed a strange one for Celtic

To be honest, this seemed a strange move. Fernando Henrique was a fringe player at an under-performing Brazilian outfit. Leaving aside any potential work permit issues, it’s not the kind of signing that makes a great deal of sense on paper.

Although he has Brazil youth caps, it seemed as if Henrique’s progress had stalled. It would’ve certainly been an ambitious one from Celtic’s point of view.

Plucking players from South America based on a handful of appearances isn’t something the club is known for.

Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

With Ange having excellent insight into the J League, the likes of Hatate and Ideguchi coming is far more likely. Ideally, in January, you want players who can come in and make an impact straight away.

Given the lack of action Fernando Henrique was seeing, it’s unlikely he would’ve been able to feature any time soon.

So, by the looks of it, there goes one of the more esoteric transfer stories of the 21-22 season thus far.

Read more: Hibs in anxious injury wait on two players ahead of Celtic Cup Final clash