Liverpool are in the race to acquire Brazilian sensation Bernard, but it will not be easy to get him to Anfield.
According to Jack De Menezes of The Independent, there are a number of European clubs after the 20-year-old winger this summer:
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.
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.
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.
With these clubs all in competition for the youngster, it will likely take an extreme bid for Liverpool to win this battle.
Bernard has spent his past few years on one of the most successful clubs in South America. Atletico Mineiro has reached the finals of the Copa Libertadores and have one more leg against Olimpia to win the prestigious title.
Based on the player's comments heading into the upcoming match, this championship is very important to him. According to John Edwards of the Daily Mail, Bernard 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.
With all due respect to Liverpool, this type of moment will not happen again for quite a while if he goes to the English Premier League club. With a seventh-place finish in the league, the squad will not compete in any European competitions next year.
After competing at the highest level in Conmebol, it is unlikely Bernard would be too excited to go to a place that will need a few years to rebuild.
Comparatively, the remainder of the clubs in this competition have more to offer. Porto, Shaktar Donetsk and Borussia Dortmund are all already in the group stage of next year's Champions League, with Arsenal also looking to get in through the playoff.
Even Tottenham will compete in the Europa League next season with the hope of more success on the horizon.
Liverpool have much less to offer the young player in terms of competition, which is certain to hurt the squad's chances of bringing him in. As a result, they need to provide Atletico Mineiro with a superior offer that simply cannot be refused.
Where will Bernard play next season?
There is plenty of reason the Reds would want to bring Bernard aboard. Even with other young wingers on the roster, the Brazilian has already proved the ability to compete at a high level and would help next season.
Additionally, the 20-year-old is certain to only get better with time, and he could be a huge part of the future for this club. Within a few years, he would jell with the other talented youngsters on the roster to get back to the top of the EPL.
If he lives up to his potential, £20 million could end up seeming like a bargain. Liverpool certainly do not have the funds to purchase the more established forwards around the world, so the best way to get top players is to find younger stars on the rise.
This amount of money is clearly a lot to spend on such a risky transfer. However, it will be the only way to complete a bid over the host of other clubs in this competition.
Hopefully for Liverpool, this will lead to more success on the pitch, which will in turn lead to easier transfers in the future.
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