Brazilian World Cup playmaker set for loan move - will he finally sign for Arsenal?

Shakhtar Donetsk playmaker Bernard looks set to leave on loan - putting Arsenal back in the picture once again.

Shakhtar Donetsk have a strong connection with Brazil, having signed the likes of Elano, Fernandinho and Willian in recent years before sending them off to the Premier League for a huge profit. The latest influx of Brazilian talent has seen Wellington Nem, Fred, Marlos, Fernando, Taison and Marcio Azevedo arrive at the Donbass Arena, but one of them could be leaving amidst the political unrest in Ukraine.

Violent scenes have been on display in Donetsk for some time now, and the conflict has driven some players away from the club already. The likes of Douglas Costa, Alex Teixeira, Dentinho and Fred all went into hiding in France after a pre-season friendly, refusing to return to the club until the anarchy had died down - and they're not the only ones affected.

Playmaker Bernard was the club's big money signing last summer, joining the club for around €25m having starred during Atletico Mineiro's run to the Copa Libertadores title. The Ukrainian giants beat the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Spurs and Arsenal to the diminutive playmaker's signature - but after an underwhelming World Cup campaign with Brazil, Bernard is reportedly seeking a move away from the club.

"It is necessary to seek a compromise," a Shakhtar source said. "It is obvious the Brazilian does not want to stay in Ukraine, where he will only complain and spoil the atmosphere in the team. But to let him go for free or for pennies won't work. The club will not allow it."

"In such a situation it is better to give the Brazilian a one year loan. If Bernard is able to establish himself well [at another club] Shaktar will then be in a better position to negotiate a subsequent sale."

His availability on loan could well rekindle Arsenal's interest in Bernard even after Alexis Sanchez's arrival. The Chilean's future could be seen as a centre forward, and if that's the case then playing 21-year-old Bernard out wide could be a wise and cost-effective move despite repeated talk of moves for Eduardo Vargas or Angel di Maria.

With a deal now as likely as it's ever been, Arsenal must at least enquire about their former target, and a season-long loan would put them in a great position to land him permanently next summer, with Bernard's abilities perfectly suited for Arsene Wenger's style of football.

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