Celtic haggle over £6m target, new O'Riley suitors emerge, Rangers sign 'next Morelos' - transfer news

The latest transfer news and speculation surrounding the Old Firm clubs

Celtic haggling over £6m price tag

Celtic remain in talks with Benfica over a permanent transfer for midfielder Paulo Bernardo but are haggling over the asking price, according to a report. The Portuguese giants are said to be looking for £6m for the 22-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Celtic, making 33 appearances and scoring four goals, including one in the New Year derby win over Rangers. However, the Daily Record claim that Celtic are looking to drive the price down to nearer £4m, and believe they can get the deal over the line by including a sell-on clause. Bernardo is said to keen on a return to Glasgow.

Dessers offer to be accepted

Celtic are in talks with Benfica over the return of Paulo Bernardo on a permanent transfer. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)Celtic are in talks with Benfica over the return of Paulo Bernardo on a permanent transfer. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Celtic are in talks with Benfica over the return of Paulo Bernardo on a permanent transfer. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Rangers are preparing to sell Cyriel Dessers this summer amid the reports that the striker will not travel on the pre-season trip to the Netherlands next week ahead of a likely exit. Reports claim that the Nigerian international is the subject of interest from clubs in Spain, France and Greece, with the Ibrox side expected to earn a small profit on the £4.5m they spent signing the 29-year-old from Cremonese last summer. With manager Philippe Clement now said to be operating on a 'one in, one out' policy in the striking department following the arrival of Hamza Igamane, the departure of Dessers would open the door for the arrival of another number nine ahead of the new season. Rangers are also preparing to welcome Brazilian striker Danilo back in the fold after he missed the second half of last season with a knee injury.

New O'Riley suitors emerge

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Speculation is continuing to circle around the future of Celtic midfielder Matt O'Riley with a new suitor reportedly emerging in the race for the 23-year-old midfielder. Atletico Madrid are known admirers having had a £20m offer rejected in the January window with a follow-up summer bid possible. Southampton have also been linked as they look to bolster their squad for their return to the Premier League following promotion. Now Leicester City appear to have joined the list of clubs targeting the Denmark international with the Daily Record claiming that new Foxes boss Steve Cooper has identified the Parkhead star as a potential replacement for Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall after his £30million move to Chelsea. O'Riley scored 19 goals and registered 18 assists to help Celtic to a league and Scottish Cup double last season and was named UEFA's player of the match in the 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. Celtic have set an asking price in excess of £25m for the midfielder, who recently signed a new contract until 2027.

Rangers sign 'next Morelos'

Former Rangers striker Kenny Miller reckons the club may have unearthed the next Alfredo Morelos with the signing of Moroccan striker Hamza Igamane. The 21-year-old became the club's sixth new summer signing when he joined from FAR Rabat this week for a fee of around £2m. Igamane scored 16 goals in 58 appearances for his previous club and has netted twice in six caps for his country at Under-23 level. Miller is excited by his potential as he drew comparisons with the signing of the relatively unknown Colombian forward from HJK Helsinki in 2017. He wrote in the Daily Record: "Igamane’s signing might be inspired. He’s clearly a talented boy with an eye for goal. But going from Moroccan football to Rangers and the Glasgow goldfish bowl at his age will be a huge challenge for him. Apparently, he doesn’t speak the language, which is a huge thing for any player coming into this country. This acquisition reminds me a bit of when the club plucked Alfredo Morelos from relative obscurity in the Finnish league. I was in the Rangers dressing-room at the time and it was difficult for Alfredo to settle early on. Morelos arrived as an unknown for £1million and would go on to become Rangers’ all-time top European goalscorer. It proved to be a shrewd bit of business, even if he was allowed to leave for free a year ago. But when Alfredo first arrived, he needed help and time. We could see he had all the raw attributes to be a good player. He always had that brute strength and aggression. But he didn’t start games immediately. We eventually teamed up together to get him his first goal for Rangers in a League Cup tie against Dunfermline – and from there he kicked on. We don’t know too much about Igamane but there are definite similarities between the pair. And he’ll need a settling-in period too."

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