Arsenal Transfer news: Bernard advised to join Porto as father reveals Gunners are yet to make 'official' approach for Brazil star

Arsenal had been the front-runners for the 20-year-old but his father reveals that Hulk has advised him to join his former club Porto

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The Independent Football

Arsenal target Bernard may be heading to Portugal instead after his father revealed his Brazilian team-mate Hulk has urged him to join Porto.

Hulk moved to Porto from Tokyo Verdy in 2008, and his good form their saw him linked with a move to Chelsea, before he decided to join Zenit Saint Petersburg for a reported £34.5m.

With Porto interested in bringing another South American to the club, it seems that Hulk has had his say on the matter to try and influence the move.

Speaking to O Jogo, Bernard’s father Delio Duarte said: “Nothing is decided yet but we know there is interest from Arsenal. However, there has been nothing official from them.

“Hulk has convinced Bernard that Porto would be better for him at this stage of his career.

“Porto would be a better move for his career. It would be a dream of mine to see him playing for them.”

The news will come as a blow for the Gunners, who had hoped to secure the deal despite the asking price standing around the £22m mark. The on-going saga involving Luis Suarez has put the brakes on Arsenal’s spending, which had thought to be increased at the beginning of the summer with a reported £70m to play with.

Bernard featured in Atletico Mineiro’s Copa Libertadoes cup success after they overturned a two-goal deficit to win on penalties against Olimpia last week, and although he admitted he could stay for the rest of his life with the Brazilian club, he acknowledged that he has to move on to further his career.

However, Yaya Sanogo remains the only signing to-date, having joined for a minimal compensation fee, and Arsenal fans are growing restless with the lack of activity.

With the Suarez deal going nowhere at present, Gunners’ fans have also seen the club miss out on striker Gonzalo Higuain, who will be strutting his stuff at the Emirates this weekend when his new club Napoli take part in the Emirates Cup.