Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham are reported to be in a battle along with three other clubs to sign sought after Brazilian Bernard after he emerged he is ready to quit his current club Atletico Mineiro.
The winger is said to be ready to leave after next Wednesday’s Copa Libertadores final second leg, which has alerted a number of European clubs who are interested in his services.
Porto, Shaktar Donetsk and Borussia Dortmund are the other clubs competing for his signature, after the 20-year-old broke into the national team last season.
Bernard plays predominantly on the left wing and uses his tremendous pace to full effect, having scored 35 goals in 113 appearances throughout his career so far.
He will not come cheap though, with Porto already seeing a bid of £15.5m turned down, with Mineiro president Alexandre Kalil demanding in excess of £20m, though it is expected a fee in the region of £18 should be enough to prise the youngster away from South America.
Both Liverpool and Tottenham are at a slight disadvantage in the hunt for Bernard, with the over three teams able to offer Champions League football, whereas Spurs can only offer the Europa League and Liverpool nothing after missing out on Europe altogether.
That has not deterred bot Andre Villas-Boas and Brendan Rodgers from going after him though, as they are expected to use the bulk of their transfer budgets to try and lure Bernard to England.
Bernard scored four goals in this year’s Copa Libertadores, putting him just two behind the top scorer in the competition.
Speaking about the upcoming final second leg against Paraguay’s Olympia, he said: “Regardless of whether it is my last game, it will be one of the most important titles of my career. Libertadores is very important for the club and for the players.
“I will do my best to make the fans happy, because moments like this may not happen again.”
His team are up against it though as they go into the game with a 2-0 deficit to Olympia.
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