Arsenal were understood to be in the driving seat for the highly-rated youngster after they registered their interest with his club, Brazilian outfit Atletico Miniero. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was understood to have been keeping tabs on him over the last few months, and was impressed with his showing at Brazil’s successful Confederations Cup outing.
Arsenal currently possess a huge transfer kitty and are willing to spend big on players this summer to strengthen their squad. It was being reported by the Brazilian media that the Gunners were preparing an opening bid of £22 million for him, and were also making room for him in the squad as they were in advanced talks to sell Gervinho to Serie A club Roma, hence making way for the arrival of Bernard. Miniero’s owner had also made it clear that he will straight away sell Bernard without thinking twice if any club meets his valuation of £25 million for him. Therefore, an Arsenal bid in that region was heavily expected in the coming days.
There has however been a completely unexpected twist in this story which seems to have snatched Bernard away right from under Arsenal’s nose. Metro reports that Portugese giants Porto have suddenly jumped right in front of the queue for his signature as Bernard’s Brazilian national team team-mate Hulk has reportedly spoken highly of his former club Porto and has managed to convince him that a move to Portugal will be a better option for his career rather than a switch to the Emirates Stadium.
Bernard’s father Delio Duarte has also confirmed the same as he said, “Nothing is decided yet but we know there is interest from Arsenal. However, there has been nothing official from them.”
“Hulk has convinced Bernard that Porto would be better for him at this stage of his career. It would be a dream of mine to see him playing for them.”
Is this the final nail in the coffin for Arsenal’s chase of Bernard? Are the Gunners going to miss out on yet another target?