Arsenal target Bernard 'flies to Ukraine' with €25 million offer on the table

Donbass Arena Shakhtar

Arsenal's prospects of signing Bernard could be edging further and further away.

Last month it was claimed by French newspaper L'Equipe that Arsenal had done a deal with Atletico Mineiro for the signing of Bernard.

This was clearly proved to be untrue, with a planned medical failing to materialise, a familiar story for Gooners so far this summer.

Now it appears it is not Arsenal, not Porto, not a fellow Premier League team, but Shakhtar Donetsk who are in pole position for his signature.

The Ukrainians have the finances to complete a deal, having sold for Fernandinho and Henrikh Mkhitaryan for huge fees this summer, not to mention Willian in January.

But Bernard is not entirely convinced, just yet.

The 20-year-old is worried about making such a lifestyle jump, to a country he knows very little about.

What does know, as the Brazilian media report, temperatures are not the highs he used to in Brazil, but can dip to a freezing minus 28 degrees in Winter.

So Bernard has traveled with his father to go and check out the Ukrainian city, and get a feel for it for himself.

He may not be impressed. As travel writer Simon Calder stated ahead of Euro 2012, "Donetsk is twinned with Sheffield but its more like Barnsley, a down-at-hill mining town with little attraction."

But Bernard would be in good company, for several Brazilians have taken the leap to go and play there in recent years, with 10 in the current first team squad, including vice-captain Luiz Adriano.

As Brazilian newspaper Lancenet reports, a €25 million offer is on the table from Donetsk, but the player insists it is purely a fact finding mission, and he will not be undergoing any kind of medical while there.

"To better decide his future in football, the attacking midfielder Bernard traveled to Ukraine on the morning of Monday. With official offer of 25 million euros the young athlete needs to decide whether to agree to defend the club that has a legion of Brazilians in the squad or reject the offer."

And Bernard himself said: 

"It's only a visit, there is nothing medical examination, not anything, I will not sign any paper. I made it clear to them that I would only make a visit so I could see the structure."

How it will play out, his other admirers will be all ears. But if he does not like what he sees, there may be an opportunity for clubs like Porto and Arsenal yet.

image: © jbl767

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