Brazilian playmaker Bernard has been one of the summers most sought after players - and after starring in Atletico Mineiro’s recent run to Copa Libertadores glory that interest has intensified.
It has been confirmed by the club that they are open to a sale, while Bernard has also claimed that five teams are interested in his services.
Shakhtar Donetsk are said to be one such team - with Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool also tentatively linked with the player.
But it is now looking like a straight out shoot-out for his services between Arsenal and FC Porto.
After Bernard’s agent claimed his Libertadores victory was the ‘perfect farewell’ the other day the rumours intensified.
Then came the report in France that he had been booked in for a medical with Arsenal. That now seems like another phantom procedure - just like the similar ‘medicals’ for Gonzalo Higuain and Stevan Jovetic earlier this summer.
Arsenal have an ally in his pursuit, with some reports suggesting that veteran Gilberto Silva, currently at Atletico Mineiro, could be convincing him to join the Gunners, over other interested parties.
But now it seems that someone else has managed to talk him round to the idea of joining Porto this summer - at least that is what his old man stated when speaking to O Jogo:
“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; it would be a dream of mine to see him playing at the Dragão."
And that would be in line with comments made by Bernard in June:
"When I hear of FC Porto, the first name that comes to mind is Hulk, who triumphed in this club. We focus here on the national team but he often talks to me about this wonderful club. He told me to take my time, but this club is all made to feel at ease."
So if Arsenal do miss out on Bernard to Porto you all know who to blame. But I wouldn’t approach him about it - the Zenit winger is a pretty big lad.
Do you think Hulk has convinced Bernard to join FC Porto?
image: © daniel0685