Paulo Bernardo Celtic transfer future addressed by Benfica boss amid permanent stay hopes

The Portuguese midfielder took a while to find his feet with the Hoops but is now reaping the rewards
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Benfica manager Roger Schmidt has dropped a hint that Paulo Bernardo could be open to staying at Celtic beyond the season-long loan spell this summer.

The Portuguese midfielder took a while to find his feet in Glasgow after joining at the start of the campaign, but has created a positive impression since the turn of the year, managing 18 appearances in all competitions so far.

The 22-year-old has the option of extending his Hoops career if he agrees to a permanent transfer, with Football Scotland revealing there is a £6million release clause inserted in to his current deal with the Primeira Liga giants.

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Eagles boss Schmidt has directly addressed speculation and admitted much will depend on how Bernardo feels about his time at Parkhead has gone before both parties weigh up the best solution.

He stated: "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."