Why Fabricio Bruno could be a shrewd signing for Celtic
The 23-year-old, who has a contract at Cruzeiro until 2021 and is rated at £3million, recently filed a lawsuit against his boyhood club over unpaid wages and issues relating to his image rights. (h/t Scottish Sun)
The Scottish Sun claims that Bruno wants Cruzeiro to pay him £2million in wages, from May to November, while also demanding the final two years of his contract to be ripped up amidst interest from the reigning Scottish champions.
Celtic have scouted the highly-rated centre-back and has expressed their desire for an initial loan move worth €300,000 with an option to make the deal permanent in the summer of 2020.
However, as the report suggests, Celtic can now look forward to snapping up Fabricio Bruno for nothing in January after the 23-year-old took Cruzeiro to court over issues relating to a breach of contract.
Cruzeiro suffered relegation to the Brazilian second-tier for the first time in their history and are currently going through a severe financial crisis. Bruno, who rose through the youth system at Cruzeiro, has made a total of 29 appearances for his boyhood club in all competitions so far.
However, his long-term future continues to be up in the air. With Celtic keen to pounce on the opportunity to sign him for a bargain amount in January, the Brazilian might not be honing his skills in his homeland for much longer.
Celtic can certainly do with another central defender in their ranks and completing a loan move for Fabricio Bruno in January would be a shrewd piece of business as far as Neil Lennon is concerned.
Lennon roped in several little-known talents from far corners of the globe during his first managerial stint at Parkhead, with players like Emilio Izaguirre, Nir Bitton, Beram Kayal and Gary Hooper all going on to play a key role in the club’s era of dominance.
Bruno is hardly a household name in his homeland and his lack of experience at the highest level makes him somewhat of a gamble for Celtic.
However, a loan deal with an option to buy looks like the right course of action, given that it would allow Lennon to assess him at close quarters and then make a decision on whether to make his stay permanent.
Despite the regular centre-back pairing of Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer working wonders for the Hoops so far this season, it would be perfectly understandable if Lennon seeks some additional cover at the back heading into the second half of the campaign.
Hatem Abd Elhamed and Jozo Simunovic are both on the treatment table with long-term injuries. While Bitton has proven himself more than capable of playing at the heart of the defence, the arrival of Fabricio Bruno could possibly be a temporary fix for Celtic.
The Hoops have already grabbed their first piece of silverware in the ongoing campaign, thanks to a victory over Rangers in the final of the Betfred Cup.
As per whoscored, Bruno boasts of a pass success rate of 85.6%, including 2.7 aerial duels, 2.9 long balls, 1.1 tackles, 0.7 interceptions and 3.7 clearances per game for Cruzeiro in the Brazilian top-flight.
Add to that his towering 6ft. 3-inch frame and it is easy to see that the 23-year-old has all the raw materials to thrive in the hustle and bustle of the Scottish Premiership.
Bruno still has plenty of room for development and Celtic might as well look at the prospect of an outright permanent transfer in January, should he become a free agent.
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Either way, Celtic’s interest in Fabricio Bruno makes sense for a number of reasons and the Hoops could well have a bargain on their hands if they manage to complete a deal to bring the Brazilian to Parkhead.