CELTIC are pushing ahead in their bid for Benfica playmaker Paulo Bernardo.

Ideally, Brendan Rodgers would like to include the former Portuguese Under-21 international in his squad that flies out for their three-game whirlwind trip to America a week on Saturday.

Bernardo impressed the champions’ boss during his season-long loan after a quiet start as he settled into life in his new surroundings, the first time he had played outwit his homeland.

Talks are now being ramped up to bring the £6.3million-rated midfielder to Parkhead.

JOY BHOY…Paulo Bernardo celebrates one of his four Celtic goals, this one at Livingston.

A fee of £4million plus add-ons has been reported in the Sunday Mail, but that seems light of what the Lisbon giants would have anticipated for a player who is under contract until June 2027.

If that figure does emerge as the one that gets the deal over the line you can be sure Benfica will be looking for something in the region of 50 per cent of the profits of any sell-on.

They received 40 per cent of the £25million the Hoops received for Filipe Jota when the winger moved to Saudia Arabian outfit Al-Ittihad a year ago after they had sold the flamboyant winger to Celtic for £6.5million the previous summer.

The 23-year-old midfielder, who turned out 33 times for the Hoops, appears keen to further his career in Glasgow and it looks as though this transfer will get the green light.

However, there will still be some tough negotiating done between the clubs before everything is done and dusted.

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