Celtic want to sign Benfica man Paulo Bernardo on loan before the end of the transfer window, according to a report.

Lisbon newspaper Record say that Celtic are in for the 21-year-old midfielder who has fallen out of favour at Benfica.

Bernardo came through Benfica’s youth academy and has made a handful of appearances for the first-team in recent years. However, he is not part of manager Roger Schmidt’s plans for the coming season and is free to leave in the closing days of the window.

On that, the translated Record report states: “This is a dossier that the responsible incarnates intend to solve in the last days of the market.”

While that is a tough sentence to decipher with the language barrier not helping, it seems to suggest that Benfica want to find a solution for Bernardo before the end of the window. We too could do with a solution to our sluggish midfield situation.

The Portugal under-21 international spent the second half of last season on loan at Paços de Ferreira. The Porto-based side were surprisingly relegated from the Primeira Liga although that doesn’t seem to have harmed Bernardo’s standing.

Casa Pia AC v FC Pacos de Ferreira - Liga Portugal Bwin
Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

He was actually linked with the club a year ago so it seems like our interest has been long standing. The youngster would appear to be a welcome addition to a Hoops midfield that has looked stale in recent weeks.

We shouldn’t discount his potential just because he hasn’t made the cut at Benfica. Not making it at first-team level with the Portuguese champions is no damning indictment of a player’s quality.

For evidence of that we only have to look at the recent example of Jota. As a player in his early 20s, in need of love after being frozen out by his boyhood club, the winger went on to become a huge contributor in Glasgow.

SL Benfica v Vitoria SC - Allianz Cup
Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

From this distance, Bernardo seems to be in a similar place. With Sky Sports’ Anthony Joseph validating this one (@AnthonyRJoseph on Twitter) and suggesting that negotiations are for a loan deal with an option to buy, it’s fair to say that there’s a familiar feeling.

Coming through the Benfica academy, Bernardo is likely to have a fair bit of talent. Like Jota, it may just be about unlocking it, and what better place to do that than a Celtic?

In other news, Albian Ajeti finally looks set to depart the club permanently in the coming days

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