It seems as though Arsenal are incredibly unlikely to acquire Brazilian sensation Bernard, although that is not necessarily the club's fault.
Sam Lee of Goal.com quotes the player's agent, Adriano Spadato, who told Mais Futebol:
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.
Lee also reports that Bernard wants to play for Porto after discussing the situation with Hulk, who spent a few years with the Portuguese club as well.
For a 20-year-old player looking to make a name for himself on the world stage, this move actually makes sense. Porto is a quality club that is the defending champions of the Portuguese Liga.
The group also reached the Round of 16 in the Champions League this past season and will look to do even better this time around. The ability to compete in the UCL takes away one of the bigger advantages that Arsenal can provide against most clubs.
Meanwhile, there is certain to be plenty of playing time available on the Portuguese squad. Midfielders Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez have already signed with Monaco, while leading scorer Jackson Martinez has been linked with Napoli, according to Goal.com.
If Bernard joins Porto, he will be able to compete for a Champions League club while offering plenty of space for the young player to start. The same could be said for Shakhtar Donetsk, who are winners of Ukraine's top league.
Arsenal have fought hard for this transfer and were considering a £22 million bid, according to the Daily Express. The failure to get him will be put in a list of other disappointments from the summer, as the squad has yet to add an impact player.
However, this is a different situation. While Arsenal can over the competition aspect, there are simply too many players on the front line who will try to get playing time. As good as Bernard is, he will not take over for Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski or others without first proving himself.
If he did come to Arsenal and spend time sitting on the bench, it would stunt his development, and he would be worse off for it.
Bernard is making the right decision for himself by avoiding the Premier League altogether so he could shine on a first team and possibly earn a spot on the World Cup roster.
This will not please too many Arsenal fans who are hoping to bring in an elite forward this summer, but it is the truth. The club will now have to wait to see if it can acquire Luis Suarez instead.
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