The lowdown: Rising star
Signed by the Belgian second-tier outfit for £2.25m from Flamengo in 2020, Souza was loaned to top-flight club KV Mechelen for the entire 2021/22 campaign.
The 23-year-old defensive midfielder proved to be a readymade top-level operator and has since attracted attention from the Hoops as Ange Postecoglou attempts to bolster the Lennoxtown ranks.
It now appears as though the Premiership champions remain in the box seat to complete a deal, despite interest from at least one other big European club…
The latest: ‘Strongest candidates’
As per Sporx, Celtic are the ‘strongest candidates’ to sign Souza amidst admiration from Fenerbache.
It’s claimed that Lommel ‘could sell’ the Brazilian for €5m (£4.3m) during the ongoing transfer window, having become ‘one of the best midfielders’ in the Jupiler Pro League last season.
The report added that the Belgian club are already looking at ways to ‘replace’ the man described by journalist Sven Claes as a ‘very promising player’ with an ‘excellent mentality’.
The verdict: Make it happen
Valued at £4.05m and under contract until 2025 (Transfermarkt), signing the 23-year-old for anything close to the mooted asking price would be a sensational piece of business from the Parkhead hierarchy.
During 2021/22, Souza scored twice and provided one assist whilst earning an outstanding 7.20 Sofascore rating, averaging 9.1 successful duels, 2.9 clearances and two interceptions per game as he demonstrated phenomenal defensive acumen at the base of midfield.
Would Souza be a good signing for Celtic?
Adding the powerful Brazilian to Postecoglou’s ranks to patrol a midfield alongside the creativity of Matt O’Riley and David Turnbull would be an exciting proposition, while also being another significant statement in the market from the Bhoys along with the recent additions of Alexandro Bernabei, Benjamin Siegrist, Jota and Cameron Carter-Vickers.
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