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Gremio midfielder Fernando Henrique could seal a £3.6 million move to the United Arab Emirates after holding talks with Scottish Premiership giants Celtic, as reported by Goal Brasil. 

On Thursday afternoon, Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou insisted that the Glasgow giants were closed for business as far as the Janaury transfer window is concerned (STV).

The Hoops have snapped up Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate, Yosuke Ideguchi and Sligo Rovers starlet Johnny Kenny this month.

But, after missing out on Riley McGree to Middlesbrough, Celtic have closed their chequebook and slammed down the shutters. 

The SPFL give Ange what he wants as Jota returns to training | Scott McDonald on 67 Hail Hail

The SPFL give Ange what he wants as Jota returns to training | Scott McDonald on 67 Hail Hail
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Then again, a deal for 20-year-old Fernando Henrique looked dead in the water long before mid-January.

Celtic held talks regarding a potential £3 million deal for the tough-tackling Brazilian in the autumn.

That was before, however, they turned their attention to J-League duo Hatate and Ideguchi. Both players arrived for a fraction of Henrique’s price-tag. 

Why did Celtic decide against signing Fernando Henrique?

That does not mean Henrique, who has also been linked with Manchester City and Brentford, will not have a new club before February 1, even if Celtic have walked away from the table.

According to Goal Brasil, UAE outfit Al-Ain could strike a deal in the region of £3.5 million. 

“A few more players may leave,” Gremio’s Vice President Denis Abrahao said this week, via GZH.  

Photo by Diego Vara – Pool/Getty Images

One of the biggest clubs in the whole of South America, Gremio were relegated from the Brazilian top flight recently. Remarkably, that was only four years after they tasted Copa Libertadores glory.

Henrique, likened to Real Madrid ace Casemiro due to his ball-winning ways, should be a key part of Gremio’s rebuilding project.

Though Al Ain’s approach will test their determination to hang onto the homegrown midfielder. 

Celtic are reportedly keen on with Iran international Mehdi Ghayedi (below) and Algerian Ahmed Kendouci this week.

Postecoglou’s comments, however, suggest that deals for both players can wait until the summer window. 

Photo by Mohammad Karamali/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

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