Everton winger Bernard has admitted to Globo Esporte that he plans to return to Atletico Mineiro at some point in the future, labelling an emotional homecoming his ‘priority’.
While a Brazil international has not quite established himself at Goodison Park during two rather mixed years on English shores, it is fair to say he is a modern-day legend at the Estadio Independencia.
Bernard was a key part of the Mineiro side who won the Copa Libertadores for the first and only time in their history back in 2013.
He started in the 2-0 final victory against Olimpia of Peru, celebrating late into the night sky alongside the likes of Jo and a certain fleet-footed number ten by the name of Ronaldinho.
And Bernard has now announced his plans to don the iconic black and white stripes of Mineiro again before he bows out of the game.
“I feel like going back. It is my priority,” says the former Shakhtar Donetsk ace, who suggests a rturn to Brazil could actually come sooner than later.
“I don’t want to go back in a moment when I won’t be able to give what I always gave; to run, contribute, score goals, give joy…
“I’m going to come back, I have the desire to come back, I want to come back – but I don’t want to come back at the end of my career, not being able to help Atlético to achieve the goals.”
With Everton being linked to a whole host of wingers, including another Brazil star in the shape of Gremio’s appropriately-named Everton Soares, speculation suggests that Bernard might be entering his final few weeks as a Toffees player.
According to Calciomercato, Bernard is hoping for a reunion with his former boss Paulo Fonseca this summer – at Roma, rather than Athletic Mineiro.