Transfer news: Arsenal target Bernard says his future is 'in the hands of the board'

The Gunners are understood to be close to agreeing a £21m transfer

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The Independent Football

It was reported yesterday that Arsenal are in 'advanced negotiations' over a £21m deal to bring Brazilian playmaker Bernard to the Emirates.

However, the player says until his current club's Copa Libertadores final second-leg has taken place, he does not want to discuss the potential transfer.

Atletico Mineiro, for whom the 20-year-old plays for, currently trail Olimpia 2-0 from the first leg. The second leg will be played tomorrow night.

"In a week as important as this, I don’t want to talk about it. I do not want to be rude, but my focus is on the decision," he said.

He added: "My future at Atletico from Thursday is in the hands of the board."

Sources in France suggest Bernard has already agreed a five-year contract worth £50,000-a-week after tax and will be in London on Friday for a medical.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was asked about the rumours following his side's victory over Nagoya Grampus yesterday, to which he replied: "That report is not true." However, Wenger is renowned for being secretive over transfer dealings and has denied stories in the past only for the deal to then materialise.

Arsenal have been frustrated in the transfer market but signing Bernard would be a major coup. Tottenham, Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund, Shakhtar Donetsk and Porto have all been linked with making a move for him.

The 20-year-old is a highly rated playmaker in Brazil and can operate on the wing or in the centre of midfield.

He has five caps and hopes to be part of Brazil’s squad when they host the World Cup next year. Bernard has already enjoyed an impressive career for Atletico and has scored an impressive 21 goals in 97 appearances for the club.