Celtic 'stance' on Paulo Bernardo permanent transfer after Champions League jackpot guaranteed

Celtic have reportedly yet to indicate to Benfica if they plan to seal a permanent deal for Paulo Bernardo.

The midfielder is inching closer to the end of his season-long loan from the Lisbon giants - but his deal includes a clause that means a £6million bid would be enough to bring the 22-year-old Scottish Premiership champions long-term. However, according to Portuguese outlet Record the Hoops are in no rush to make the deal permanent.

Reports had previously suggested that Celtic had aimed to negotiate a lower fee for the Portugal U21 cap that would see him join Brendan Rodgers' side once again next term. But it now appears that talks between the pair have gone cold with Bernardo's long-term future "still unknown". As it stands, Celtic "have not indicated that they will trigger the purchase clause" and talks to keep Bernardo in Glasgow's east end have "gone quiet".

The report notes that Celtic have guaranteed Champions League football next term following their title triumph, and explains that the delay in talks could be due to the the Parkhead transfer gurus believing "they can spend the money better elsewhere". Bernardo enjoyed a run in the staring line-up amid injuries to Reo Hatate and Callum McGregor.

Since then, he has mainly been deployed as a substitute by Rodgers. His last start came back in March against St Johnstone - and Bernardo has only made six more appearance for the Hoops.