Bernard close to Porto switch
Arsenal are set to miss out on Atletico Mineiro star Bernard, with the Brazil international’s agent confirming he is set to join either Porto or Shakhtar Donetsk.
French newspaper L’Equipe had earlier claimed the 20-year-old was set for a medical in London, but Arsene Wenger told the Daily Mirror that was not the case.
Bernard’s father has told O Jogo that the Gunners do hold an interest but expressed a preference for a move to Porto, with fellow Brazil international Hulk recommending his former club.
"Nothing is decided yet, but we know there is an interest from Arsenal," he said. "There has been nothing official from them. Hulk has convinced Bernard that Porto move would be better for him at this stage of his career. Porto would be a better move for his career.”
The player’s agent, Adriano Spadotto, has also indicated that a move to Portugal is the most likely outcome, despite rival interest from Ukrainian side Shakhtar.
Asked about Porto, Spadotto told Mais Futebol: “I can confirm that is the strongest possibility, but Shakhtar are interested too. He should join one of the two clubs.
“If it is up to me, Bernard will be a Porto player. As I have said, this would be the best solution for him. He would prefer to join a middling, but good, club in Europe rather than risk joining an elite club and not getting the chance to play. Bernard has great interest in going to Porto.”
Paulo Fonseca, the Porto coach, refused to be drawn on the talk, telling the media: "I only talk about the players who are already here. I don't know if he will come and I won't talk about anyone who is not part of the squad."
Atletico Mineiro have confirmed that Bernard will be allowed to leave should a club meet his €25 million valuation.
"The president has made it clear: if we have a great offer, he will be sold and you will know, but he plays for Atletico-MG and this speculation has been going for months, the club’s director of football, Eduardo Maluf, said.