FABRICIO BRUNO has gone to court in an attempt to cancel his contract with financially-stricken Brazilian club Cruzeiro in a bid to force through a move next month to Celtic, because he hasn't been paid.

Cruzeiro's vice-president Marcio Rodrigues initially claimed last week Celtic had made a £3 million offer for the 23-year-old, but the Hoops denied making a bid for him.

The South American club made clear they wanted more for their prize asset and called on Celtic to substantially raise their offer.

However, Celtic could now land Bruno for nothing if his bid to annul his contract is successful.

Bruno filed a lawsuit last week at the Regional Labour Court in Belo Horizonte to declare his contract null and void because he hadn't received wages from May to November and his agreed image rights weren't paid either. He also wants Cruzerio to pay him £2 million he claims he's owed and to rip up his contract.

His lawyer, Joao Chiminazzo, said: "Considering his salary is greatly in arrears and his image rights have not been paid, this has left him with little alternative but to request a contract termination.

"Cruzeiro are in clear breach of contract."

Bruno's club were relegated to Brazilian Serie B for the first time in their history earlier this month and have major financial problems.

But his actions have dismayed Rodrigues, who launched an angry attack on Bruno.

He said: "Fabricio Bruno knows what the club is going through just now and I am hugely disappointed in his actions.

"We are going through an extremely difficult period at the moment and we are trying to solve it. He knows he will get paid.

"He was brought up at this club, he came through the youth system and we regard him as a son. So for him to go to the courts is outrageous.

"We will meet him and try to do a deal with him and his lawyer. But he needs to understand the club's position."

And Rodrigues admitted Celtic only made an enquiry for him rather than an official offer, contrary to his claims last week.

He revealed: "Celtic did not make an official proposal, it was through an agent. We then presented a counter-proposal.

"We can't sell a top player for such a figure that was proposed. We hope to negotiate with them.

"We are not against selling him. We simply want to get a figure that represents good value for the club."

However, Cruzerio now faces the prospect of not only getting nothing for Bruno if his court case is successful, but also having to fork out a couple of million in unpaid wages.