Benfica boss Roger Schmidt has admitted Celtic loan star Paulo Bernardo may not want to return to Portugal after his successful loan spell with the Hoops.

The midfielder netted against Rangers in the recent Old Firm game and the champions have an option to buy the 22-year-old at the end of the season.

Benfica boss Schmidt was directly asked about Bernardo's form at Celtic and whether the Lisbon giants would take him back at the end of his loan spell, after their win over Gil Vicente at the weekend.

And he stated: "You have to remember it's also about the will of the player and what he wants to do.

"With all the players who leave Benfica, the idea is to give them the opportunity to develop and gain confidence.

"And of course, it's always an excellent opportunity for Benfica to watch them.

"The aim is to have a good overview of all the players.

"But we have to make difficult decisions afterwards at the end of the season, because we also have to respect the player's wishes."

Bernardo was asked after he netted against Buckie Thistle in the Scottish Cup about whether he had discussed making his loan move permanent.

He said: "The manager and I just want to keep things going well and to improve a lot.

"I am enjoying it a lot. The fans are unbelievable and they like me, so I am feeling good too. I just have to keep going."