"Arsenal couldn't afford to buy me!" - Brazilian lifts lid over proposed Gunners switch

Emirates Inside

Shahtar Donetsk playmaker Bernard has revealed how he was the subject of a bid from Arsenal last summer - but they couldn't afford him.

The diminutive 21-year-old shot to stardom, leading Atletico Mineiro to last season's Copa Libertadores title alongside Ronaldinho and Jo, and after a number of dazzling displays, Bernard was unsurprisingly linked with big money switches to Europe.

Borussia Dortmund were seemingly leading the race for some time after the sale of Mario Gotze to Bayern Munich, but they were trumped by big-spending Ukrainian side Shakhtar, who added Bernard to their already strong contingent of Brazilian stars.

Yet things could've been so different for Bernard, as he revealed that he was the subject of bids from North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, but the latter couldn't afford to bring him to the Emirates Stadium last summer.

"We had offers from Tottenham, and according to my Atletico president Arsenal were interested too, but didn't have the money," said Bernard.

"All of it happened in a moment Europe was facing a serious financial crisis, so there was interest from various teams, but the only one able to pay straight away was Shakhtar," he added.

Bernard was something of a shock inclusion in Luiz Felipe Scolari's Brazil squad for this summer's World Cup, and whilst he may not have a huge role to play with the likes of Oscar, Willian, Neymar and Hulk also in contention, he may have a chance to put himself back in the shop window.

The political upheaval in Ukraine could throw the futures of some players into doubt, and Bernard has previously made suggestions that he could leave the country - which will no doubt trigger interest from Arsenal once again. Yet Bernard's revelation once again brings Arsenal's transfer dealings into question; why can't they compete for the top players on a regular basis?

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