Chelsea Transfer News: Bernard Favours AC Milan Amid Blues Rumours

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2018

Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian midfielder Bernard kicks the ball the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match AS Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk on March 13, 2018 at the Olympic stadium in Rome. 
Roma reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in 10 years as Edin Dzeko edged them past Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday for an away goals victory. / AFP PHOTO / Andreas SOLARO        (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri may find his reported interest in Bernard thwarted amid rumours the former Shakhtar Donetsk forward favours a move to AC Milan instead.

Rossoneri general manager Leonardo met with Bernard's agent on Monday, according to Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Calciomercato), with the latter source crediting Sarri as also keen on the Brazil international.

Calciomercato credits Leonardo with having a "good understanding with Bernard's entourage as well as with the player," although personal terms of any deal with Milan would still need to be finalised.

The wait for terms could give Chelsea the opportunity to make a late push, provided Sarri and the Blues are serious about following up their interest in the 25-year-old. Chelsea had appeared to have been closing in on a free transfer for Bernard, per GloboEsporte (h/t Metro).

Sarri reportedly has interest in Bernard.
Sarri reportedly has interest in Bernard.VALERY HACHE/Getty Images

Beating Milan to Bernard's signature would make a lot of sense since the South American is an intelligent and dynamic technician at his best from wide areas. Sarri's squad could be in need of major reinforcements on the flanks, with Eden Hazard and Willian both attracting interest.

Real Madrid remain heavily linked with Hazard, but the fee could be a problem, according to Marca's Santiago Siguero and Padraig Whelan. Meanwhile, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho wants to bring Willian to Old Trafford, per Tuttosport (h/t TalkSport.com).

Bernard would help offset the loss of either player, even though his reputation can't match Hazard's or Willian's. What Bernard would offer is quality in front of goal and flair in possession.

Hazard and Willian have both been linked with moves away this summer.
Hazard and Willian have both been linked with moves away this summer.Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

His technique and creativity would suit the pass-happy approach Sarri favours. Similarly, Bernard's range of movement would make him a regular target for Chelsea playmakers like summer import Jorginho.

Sarri needs to rejig his squad to fit the fluid and expansive game he wants. Snapping up an attacker as skilful as Bernard would be a useful step in the process.