July 29, 2013
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This time, it's Brazilian wonder-kid Bernard.
Of course, Arsenal can't be completely blamed for this one, as it looks as though Bernard's support system is pushing for a move to Portugal.
First, his agent, Adriano Spodato, publicly said he was advising his client to join Porto in Mais Futebol (via Sam Lee of Goal.com):
I can confirm that the possibility [of joining Porto] is strong, but there is Shakhtar, too. It should be between those [clubs]. On Monday or Tuesday there should be something more concrete.
If it was up to me, Bernard would be a Porto player. I told him that this is the best way. It is preferable to enter a medium, but good, European club, rather than risk a top club and have no space to play. Indeed, Bernard is very interested in going to Porto.
Then, Bernard's father, Delio Duarte, revealed to O Jogo (via Goal.com) that fellow Brazilian Hulk also sang the praises of Porto:
He wants to continue his career at a club like Porto. He dreams of that. Bernard is Hulk's friend, they became very close in the national squad and they talked about this.
Hulk spoke highly of the club, and [Bernard] was convinced it would be a safe bet for this stage of his career.
It's time to kiss Bernard goodbye, Arsenal.
Gunners fans probably shouldn't lose too much sleep over this one, of course, as Bernard would have faced serious competition for playing time on the wings against Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla if he's pushed out wide and Gervinho if he remains with the team.
Bernard certainly is an exciting talent, however. He scored 15 goals and added 12 assists in all competitions for Atletico Mineiro last season, and at just 20 years of age, his potential seems limitless.
At this point, Gooners have to be wondering if all of the links to big names are serious, or whether Arsenal are simply floating the possibility of signing huge talents to appease an anxious fanbase. Might this summer be business as usual for Arsenal, with a few smaller signings and without the team making a major splash?
It would certainly be unfair if that's the case, and Arsenal would have a lot of pie on its face for making such a public display about how it would spend before going back on its words.
In other words, patience, Arsenal fans. Patience.
Bernard may not be on his way, but the Gunners pretty much have to make at least one premier signing. Whom that player will be, however, remains to be seen.
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