Benfica head coach Roger Schmidt has suggested that Paulo Bernardo may not be interested in returning to his parent club once his loan spell at Celtic comes to an end.
When asked by a reporter after Benfica’s win over Gil Vicente whether Bernardo will return to the Estadio da Luz this summer, Schmidt replied:
“You have to remember it’s also about the will of the player and what he wants to do. With all the players who leave Benfica, the idea is to give them the opportunity to develop and gain confidence.”
“And of course, it’s always an excellent opportunity for Benfica to watch them. The aim is to have a good overview of all the players. “But we have to make difficult decisions afterwards at the end of the season, because we also have to respect the player’s wishes.”
Celtic do have an option to buy the midfielder
It was reported back in the summer that the Hoops have a similar agreement in place with Benfica as they did for Jota in 2022.
The Scottish champions paid around €7m (£6m) to make the winger’s move to Celtic Park permanent and they will have the opportunity to do the same thing with Bernardo.
Would Bernardo be worth the outlay?
Fans have a special place in their hearts for the midfielder after he scored an outstanding goal against Rangers at the end of last year. The jury is, however, still out on whether the club should spend a sizeable sum on securing his services on a permanent basis.
Initially, Bernardo found himself on the periphery of the first team following his arrival late on in the summer transfer window. He barely featured before Christmas but he has started 6 league fixtures on the bounce, scoring 2 goals and contributing 2 assists.
If the Portuguese Under 21 international is to seal his switch to Scotland, you would think that he will need to maintain this form for the rest of the campaign.