Brazilian Report: Celtic contact Gremio about signing midfielder

By Euan Davidson

November 19, 2021

Celtic haven’t made a bid yet, but have approached Gremio and remain interested in Fernando Henrique.

A report from Portal Do Gremista states that Celtic are “keeping in touch” with Gremio over a potential deal. In total, Henrique has made just 16 appearances for the Porto Alegre-based side [Transfermarkt].

The report goes on to say that there’s speculation in Brazil that a deal will be closed between Celtic and Gremio.

Photo by Wagner Meier/Getty Images

The Brazilian yesterday sparked speculation, after following Celtic on Instagram. There was also a report in the Scottish Daily Mail [print edition 19/11/21, p.86] that Ange Postecoglou wanted two midfielders sewn up this January window.

A report from Globo insists that Fernando Henrique will indeed leave Gremio this season. He hasn’t played for Ronaldinho’s former team for two months.

Primarily a defensive midfielder, this move would follow a trend. Celtic have delved into unusual locales for ball-winning midfielders. Ivorian Eboue Kouassi was signed from Russia, and Ismaila Soro left the Israeli top-flight to join Celtic.

Both, notably, were January signings.

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What this means for Ismaila Soro or James McCarthy is uncertain. Should Celtic push through a move here, there are several questions. Would the inexperienced Brazilian be signed for the first-team? If not, would he move all the way from Brazil to be a development player for Celtic?

Celtic reportedly getting closer to Fernando Henrique deal

Well, then. It looks like the wheels are in motion. No bid doesn’t mean no interest; instead it seems like the two clubs are working out a deal.

How do you evaluate a 20-year-old who’s barely played for Gremio? It’s hard to say. And you have to imagine that it’s based on some serious scouting from Celtic’s perspective.

We do need robust options in the midfield. Especially in Europe, where Nir Bitton played well behind Callum McGregor against Ferencvaros. However, Bitton isn’t exactly speedy, and neither is James McCarthy.

Photo by Diego Vara – Pool/Getty Images

Ismaila Soro, so much of a star last season, has struggled to get going in Ange Postecoglou’s system. Likeable as he is, it just hasn’t worked out for him yet.

For Celtic, is Fernando Henrique the answer? Genuinely, it’s impossible to say without conjecture or hyperbole. There’s very little of his game that’s widely available.

This could be one of those rare, “how did they spot him?” gems we talk about for years afterwards. Or, it’s a potentially risky move for a hugely unproven player.

The fun, of course, is in finding out.

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