Celtic transfer ‘agreed’ ahead of Rangers fixture

Celtic transfer news and rumours on deadline day ahead of facing Rangers
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Celtic have taken Benfica midfielder Paulo Bernardo on a season-long loan as part of a double boost on transfer deadline day.

The Premiership champions made progress with the deal over the last 48 hours and officially confirmed the 21-year-old had completed a temporary move to Celtic Park just hours before the deadline. Bernardo has made 16 appearances for Portugal Under-21s and spent the second half of last season with Pacos Ferreira as they were unsuccessful in their bid to avoid relegation from the Primiera Liga.

Celtic have an option to convert the loan move into a permanent deal next summer and manager Brendan Rodgers has explained why he was keen to take a look at the talented midfielder.

He told the club website: “Paulo is a young player who come in with the opportunity to give us more strength in depth in that midfield area. He’s already gained first-team experience at a top-class club in Benfica, which is something he will bring to Celtic, and we’re looking forward to working with him over the course of this season.”

The move to sign Bernardo came just hours after Celtic revealed Liel Abada has committed his future to the club.

The Israel international has scored 29 goals and provided 21 assists in 105 appearances in all competitions since joining the club from Petah Tivka in the summer of 2021. After being the subject of interest from a number of clubs around Europe, Abada has now penned a new four-year deal and is hoping to continue impressing the Celtic Park faithful.

He said: “Every time I score for this club is really amazing. To score in Celtic Park is always special and the atmosphere is amazing.

“Hopefully I can show more this season for everyone and I will try and get better for the team. Every time you play at a club like Celtic you have a lot of great players and a lot of competition. For me, the most important thing is to work hard every day and gain experience from the staff and improve for the team.”

There was one confirmed departure on deadline day as midfielder Ismaila Soro completed a move to Israeli side Beitar Jerusalem after opting against agreeing a deal to join Greek side Aris.