Reuters is reporting that Bernard, the 20 year old Brazilian who was so impressive for his country during this summer’s Confederations Cup, has signed a five year deal with Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk.
The agreement sends Bernard from Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro to Eastern Europe for a transfer fee of $33.4 million (€25M). Bernard’s departure from Mineiro comes just two weeks after O Galo clinched their first ever Copa Libertadores title.
The midfielder’s deal may serve as a blow to some Arsenal fans, after the Gunners were rumored to be interested in bringing Bernard to the Emirates.
While pessimists will chalk the loss of Bernard up as another failed opportunity for Arsene Wenger to open his checkbook and compete with the big boys, others will argue that passing on the attacking midfielder evidences another pragmatic decision by a savvy businessman.
So which one is it?
For me, the later. For as talented as Bernard is, the transition from Brazil to the Premier League can be quite an adjustment, especially when you’re in 5’4″ and 132 pounds like Bernard.
Add to that Arsenal’s pressing desire to secure a world-class striker and the intense competition Bernard would face in the Gunners’ stacked midfield of Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshire, Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Wenger’s decision to hold off seems more than reasonable.
Bernard is Shakhtar’s seventh signing of the season following deals for Facundo Ferreyra, Fred (the 20 year old version), Fernando, Wellington Nem, Oleksandr Volovyk and Dmytro Grechyshkin.