Brazilian starlet Bernard was part of the successful FIFA Confederations Cup team this summer but even before he caught the eye with the odd impressive cameo for Selecao in their home tournament triumph Bernard was being linked with a move abroad from Atletico Mineiro.
Previously linked with a move to Chelsea the diminutive playmaker has been the subject of Tottenham’s envy for the summer as Andre Villas Boas looks to add some strength in depth in his attacking options this summer.
As the interest in Bernard from Tottenham started to cool the next team to come calling, apparently, were Arsenal.
It was reported by Brazilian papers and radio stations over the weekend that The Gunners were eyeing up the 20-year-old attacker for a fee in the region of €25 million.
No official word has yet come from Bernard’s representatives or wither club over that issue but then came the next twist in the tail - another Premier League team wanted him.
Liverpool were linked with adding him to Lucas Leiva and Phillipe Coutinho in the clubs Brazilian contingent this summer by source Placar Esportes. They claimed that Liverpool could move for the star as an alternative to Henrikh Mkhitaryan; who joined Borussia Dortmund earlier in the summer.
However throughout the links with Premier League clubs being spuriously flaunted around the joint it was always FC Porto that seemed the most likely destination if he was to head to Europe this summer.
But they have just snapped up Colombian starlet Juan Fernando Quintero from Pescara so a deal for the player might not be on the agenda any more.
This week Bernard has been speaking about the Copa Libertadores final on Thursday; where Mineiro take on Olimpia of Peru.
And you can take two views of what he says:
"If it's my last game [for Atletico Mineiro] or not, it will be one of the most important titles in my career. Libertadores is very important for the club and for the players. I'll do my best to make fans happy as moments like that may not happen again."
You can either believe that means he is happy to stay or that he is softening his beloved fans up for a summer exit.
The fact remains that staying with his current club is likely to give him the best chance of making the Brazil squad for next summer’s home World Cup and considering Porto were the favourites their signing of Quintero could hint he is happy to stay after Thursday’s final.
Either way it probably won’t be long until another Premier League team is linked with his signature … Bernard to Everton?
Wishful thinking on my part perhaps.
Do you think Bernard will be in the Premier League next season?
image: © Crystian Cruz