Neil Lennon and Celtic could do with signing a defender during the January transfer window, but it looks like the club will have to look beyond target Fabricio Bruno.

Brazilian publication Futebol Interior are reporting that he’s on the verge of a move from relegated Cruzeiro to newly-promoted Red Bull Bragantino, with a deal set to be announced in the coming days.

The outlet say that a wage agreement between the player and Bragantino has already been agreed, with other negotiations at an advanced stage.

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It comes after heavy speculation he could be on the verge of a move to Celtic, following discussions between the Scottish champions and the player’s agent.

Cruzeiro released a lengthy statement on their official website last month claiming that Celtic had made an offer by proxy for the player, although the Brazilian club were not happy with the terms and looked to renegotiate.

Futebol Interior report though that the money they’ll now receive from Bragantino is far below what Celtic were preparing to pay, apparently in part due to legal wranglings.

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Are we missing out on a gem?

The 23-year-old has an exciting profile having made 58 appearances in the Brazilian top-flight and reached double figures across the Copa Sudamericana and Copa Libertadores (Transfermarkt).

Although Christopher Jullien has been performing brilliantly this term, we could do with more robust competition for Kristoffer Ajer in the position, with Jozo Simunovic still making a comeback from injury.

Reported Celtic target Fabricio Bruno

Reported Celtic target Fabricio Bruno / (Photo by Juliana Flister/Getty Images)

Jack Hendry looks to be on his way out of the club, while Lennon has admitted he sees Nir Bitton as a midfield player.

Having another quality first-team defender could be necessary for a gruelling second half of the season and Bruno looked to tick a few boxes.

Ultimately it’s unknown how well he’d have adapted to life in Scottish football, but it appears our search for a defender will go on this month.

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