Arsenal are reportedly close to finalising a £21million deal for Brazilian winger Bernard, who is expected to move to Europe after participating in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final with Atletico Mineiro this week.
Several news outlets have run with the story suggesting that Bernard will be in London for a medical as soon as this Friday.
The 20-year-old has previously been linked with Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, but Arsenal have emerged as front runners in the past two weeks.
However Arsene Wenger, speaking after Arsenal’s 3-1 friendly win over Nagoya Grampus, has denied the reports suggesting a deal had been done for Bernard.
The French manager has a history of remaining secretive regarding Arsenal’s transfer dealings, and has denied deals in the past only for them to be completed shortly afterwards, so the Bernard move might well be on.
Arsenal are ready to test Liverpool’s resolve with a £40million bid for unsettled striker Luis Suarez, with the Gunners hoping the opportunity to play Champions League football will attract the Uruguayan to the Emirates.
There is confusion over whether a £40million bid would trigger a release clause in Suarez’ contract, but Liverpool have indicated that even a bid that large would not necessarily be accepted.
Suarez has joined up with Brendan Rodgers’ squad on their pre-season tour in Australia, and could play later today in a friendly against Melbourne Victory. Real Madrid are also monitoring his situation, with the 26-year-old previously suggesting he would prefer to move away from the Premier League this summer.
Arsenal are also considering a bid for Benfica winger Eduardo Salvio, who is valued at around £30million by the Portuguese club.
The 23-year-old was part of the side beaten by Chelsea in last season’s Europa League final and pipped to the Portuguese league title by Porto, and has also been attracting interest from Manchester City this summer.
Salvio made 51 appearances for Benfica in all competitions last season, scoring 13 times, and has been capped five times by Argentina.
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