Fabio Silva had Celtic transfer option but chose Rangers as decision explained by dad Jorge

Jorge Silva claims son Fabio was advised to sign for Celtic because he was a Catholic – but chose a move to Rangers instead.

The Portuguese star arrived at Ibrox in January on loan from Wolves but failed to help Philippe Clement’s side win the Premiership or Scottish Cup. Silva, who left Porto for Molineux in a £35million deal in 2020, was criticised by a section of the Rangers’ support for his performances and poor goal return. Even after winning a penalty in the Old Firm derby draw against Celtic in April, he was accused of simulation.

Silva went down several times in the game and Hoops gaffer Brendan Rodgers was adamant that Silva had dived to earn his side a spot kick. But his father Jorge has defended the 21-year-old after his stint at Ibrox came to an end and he returned south. And the former Portugal international has revealed Silva rejected a switch to Parkhead from Molineux.

In an exclusive interview with MailSport, Jorge said: “At the beginning, Fabio had the opportunity to choose other clubs, even in Scotland. Could he have gone to Celtic? Yes, he could have gone there.

"Many people told him to go there because the way they play is maybe closer to Fabio’s abilities. But he chose Rangers.

“People spoke to us about his religion because he’s a Catholic but Fabio doesn’t show that to everyone. Even so, he told me as his father that he just wanted to play for Rangers.

“He loved the club and the fans. He just doesn’t understand that after one game (the Old Firm derby), everyone changed and went against the boy. It was a good time for him at Rangers. All the staff there helped him.

“But when I was at the cup final recently, people found out I was his father and said to me, ‘Tell him not to dive.’ I know that’s just emotion and football – but I don’t understand it.

“I don’t understand why old players from Rangers – and even some of the fans – criticised him after the Celtic game. It was a huge match but Rangers did NOTHING before Fabio won the penalty.

“He put them into the game yet afterwards everyone was against him. I don’t understand that. Whenever Fabio had the ball he always went at his opponent [Alistair Johnston] one v one and he provoked situations. He created another goal for the team and it was offside. But the supporters seemed to be against him afterwards.”