Bar any dramatic late developments Everton will be signing Bernard later today. The Brazilian, a free agent after allowing his contract to expire at Shakhtar Donetsk, will join on an apparent £150,000-a-week deal – according to The Mirror.
It seems a lot for a player that has never played in one of Europe’s top leagues. However, the free transfer is still a bargain.
In the summer of 2013, the Brazilian was wanted by a host of top European clubs. He had been in fine form for his club Atletico Mineiro. The likes of Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and many others were all named as potential suitors.
However, none of them got the player. As he told FourFourTwo magazine himself a year later, the reason why was simple. Nobody wanted to pay the £21.5 million that Shakhtar did up front.
“We had offers from Tottenham, and according to my Atletico president Arsenal were interested too, but didn’t have the money. All of it happened in a moment Europe was facing a serious financial crisis, so there was interest from various teams, but the only one able to pay straight away was Shakhtar.”
So five years ago Bernard, just arriving from Brazilian football, was worth £21.5 million. Considering the way transfer inflation has panned out in recent years, he must be worth at least double that now.
He has impressed in the Champions League and Shakhtar would undoubtedly have wanted far more for him were they to have sold him this summer.
Considering the price Everton paid for Richarlison this summer, this looks an incredible piece of business.