Monday, June 27, 2022

Celtic Have Agreed A Deal For This Vitória Guimarães Midfielder: Smart From The Hoops?

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Pratyay Maitra
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If an article from the Portuguese outlet Diario de Transferencias is believed to be true, Celtic have struck a deal with Vitória Guimarães for Alfa Semedo.

A report from A Bola claimed the Hoops’ interest in the Guinea-Bissau international a couple of days ago. However, the Scottish champions have rumouredly agreed on a season-long loan with an option to buy for £2m. The figure could potentially rise to £3m with add-ons and as the things stand, the 24-year-old midfielder is expected to bolster the Bhoys in the middle of the park.

Semedo joined the youth ranks of Benfica from his local club Fidjus di Bideras. There he struggled to break into their senior side, but a loan spell at Vilafranquense helped him grow his game in the senior setup. Moreirense roped him in a year later and a promising 2017-18 season in the Primeira Liga saw Benfica signing him back for €2.5m next summer.

Nir Bitton has left Celtic at the end of the previous campaign
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 13: Daizen Maeda of Celtic celebrates after scoring their side’s third goal with Nir Bitton during the Scottish Cup match between Celtic and Raith Rovers at Celtic Park on February 13, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

Meanwhile, his minutes were limited for the Portuguese giants who loaned him out to Espanyol on the winter deadline day of 2019. He then spent successive seasons in the English Championship with Nottingham Forest and Reading before completing a permanent move to Os Vimaranenses prior to the previous campaign.

Why It’s A Smart Move From Celtic

Celtic, on the other hand, have parted ways with Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton. The exit of the veteran midfield pair has left a void in the centre of the pitch, whereas Ismaila Soro has failed to deliver as the understudy to skipper Callum McGregor. James McCarthy could not earn Ange Postecoglou’s trust either and the Celts, therefore, are now on the hunt for a deep-lying playmaker.

Semedo made 31 appearances last season for the Guimarães-based outfit. Predominantly a ‘number 6’, he is also capable of slotting in as a makeshift centre-half. The Bissau-Guinean’s attributes resemble Bitton’s versatility, something that might help Celtic restore depth as well as quality. Moreover, his experience in England might be useful in terms of settling down north of the border.

A transfer to Celtic would script a reunion with one of his old friends Filipe Jota. The Hoops are desperate to tie the attacker down on permanent terms and a successful deal for the young Portuguese should see them playing together for the first time since their Benfica days. It remains to be seen whether the Glasgow giants confirm the transfer story in the due course of time.

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