PAULO BERNARDO signed a season-long loan deal from Benfica tonight to become Celtic’s NINTH recruit of the summer.
Brendan Rodgers beat the midnight transfer deadline to capture the highly-rated 21-year-old midfielder.
As in the previous temporary transfer arrangement with the Lisbon club for Filipe Jota, there is an option to buy if the playmaker impresses at the champions.
The Portuguese Under-21 star has already made 23 appearances for Benfica and spent the second half of last month on loan at local club Pacos Ferreira.
SITTING PRETTY…new Bhoy Paulo Bernardo is welcomed to Paradise. Image courtesy Celtic TV.
Bernardo, speaking to the club website, said: “I’m very excited to be here. It’s a great club and I’m ready to be on the pitch and to help the team.
“Our ambition is to be champions and perform very well in the group stages of the Champions League and go as far as we can.”
A delighted Rodgers added: “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 previous eight signings are: Marco Tilio (£2m), Odin Holm (£2.25m), Yang Hyun-jun (£2.1m), Kwon Hyeon-kyu (£850,000), Maik Nawrocki (£4.3m), Gustaf Lagerbiekle (£3m), Luis Palma (£3.5m) and Nat Phillips (loan).