Champions Celtic have concluded the signing of Benfica midfielder Paulo Bernardo on a season-long loan with an option to buy, with the 21-year-old’s arrival announced just before 9pm. “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,” the Portuguese said. “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.”
Brendan Rodgers had already done some business today, tying down forward Liel Abada on a four-year contract extension. “We know there was significant interest in Liel from other clubs so we’re delighted that he has committed his future to Celtic,” Rodgers said. In terms of exits, Sead Haksabanovic has been linked with a £1.7million move to PAOK, while Ismaila Soro and Albian Ajeti could also depart.
No transfer activity is anticipated at Rangers, who have already brought in nine new players. There has been late interest from Stoke City in defender Ben Davies, but at this stage, manager Michael Beale is unlikely to sanction a departure. Speaking earlier on Friday, Beale said: “There might be a loan for one of the younger members of the squad, but unless I receive a phonecall in the short term, then it won't be one that is drawn out late into the evening.”
It is all quiet in the capital, with both Hearts and Hibs satisfied with their work. The Jambos, in particular, will be content if they can keep hold of forward Lawrence Shankland, who has been attracting interest. Aberdeen, however, are still in the hunt for new players and could make at least one signing before the window closes at midnight.
St Johnstone have been active, completing the signings of Austrian midfielder Sven Sprangler and winger Diallang Jaiyesimi on a season-long loan from Charlton, while their opponents on Saturday, Dundee, have landed Burnley winger Marcel Lewis on loan. Motherwell also have a new arrival, with defender Georgie Gent joining from Blackburn, also on loan.