Failed Arsenal and Tottenham target Bernard explains Shakhtar switch

Donbass Arena Shakhtar

Brazilian international Bernard has been talking of what made him decide to join Shakhtar Donetsk this summer - despite interest from the Premier League.

Bernard completed his switch to Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk this week - in what was considered a shock deal considering some of the other teams said to be loitering around the possibility of snapping him up for next season.

The interest from FC Porto seemed to be strong - but his club Atletico Mineiro only confirmed that two teams were also interested in the player - both teams in North London.

"Tottenham made an offer of 18m euros (£15.7m) for Bernard, but they withdrew. Arsenal told us that they would bid, but never did. So what we have now is a 25m euros (£21.8m) bid from Shakhtar."

Indeed it seems that neither side was ever as strong in their interest for the player - Shakhtar were decisive and quickly put the cash on the table that made Mineiro step up and take notice.

But while both Arsenal and Spurs have missed out one thing still troubles me - why didn’t Bernard wait for a team in a bigger league to approach him.

I remember reading about a month ago that he was unsure of a move to Ukraine - as he felt playing there could be detrimental to his Selecao hopes.

Obviously he must have spoken to Luiz Felipe Scolari an received assurances on that mater. Then there is the added bonus of having a multitude of Brazilians as team-mates at the Donbass Arena.

But still, Shakhtar play in a league with little in competition. Despite the growing standard of teams such as Dnipro and Metalist - Shakhtar remain the overwhelming favourites to dominate Ukrainian football - even with Fernandinho and Henrikh Mkhitaryan departing.

But it seems that none of this was the case.

Speaking to the clubs official website Bernard revealed some of the reasons why he decided to join the club The Miners this summer.

Here are some snippets of why Shakhtar ended up grabbing Bernard - and not Arsenal or Spurs.

‘’Shakhtar are the champions of their country and they play in the Champions League. For me, this move is a very important step. Therefore, it was important for me to see with my own eyes where I would train and live. Finally, I decided to take this step. And I am here at Shakhtar now… Mircea [Lucescu] told me about the goals to be achieved by the club. They coincide with my goals. Shakhtar must always win… Besides the joyful feelings that I am experiencing, I cannot wait to make my debut in Shakhtar’s shirt. I very much want to see the fans, the full stadium! To take the field and play football - that's real happiness for me.’’

Can Bernard keep his Selecao place from Ukraine? Should he have waited for another move?

image: © jbl767

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