What does the future hold for Bernard?
Bernard Anício Caldeira Duarte, most known to the football world as Bernard, is one of the most exciting prospects in South American football.
He has attracted the attention of a number of clubs, such as Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham and Liverpool.
The winger, a key part of the success in the Copa Libertadores for Atletico Mineiro alongside teammates Ronaldinho Gaucho and Diego Tardelli, will surely have European football on the cards in the near future. But the question is, where will he end playing?
First of all, we can’t rule out the possibility of Bernard spending another season in the Brasileirao. Ronaldinho is being chased by many European clubs and I’m sure, manager, Cuca will not let both go easy. Especially knowing that they may play against Bayern Munich in the Club’s World Cup.
The duo leaving Minas Gerais would be a massive weakening for the “Galo”, so we can assume that only one will deprat, unless a very good economic offer appears. In my opinion, an offer of £15-20 million would be accepted by the club.
Bernard is the wonder kid of the club and the fan’s idol.
His career began at his current club in 2008, and even after being released twice, due of his lack of height, he never gave up.
He earned the possibility to join the first team squad in 2010, and after a great spell on loan at Democrata Futebol Clube, he made his first appearance for Atletico Mineiro in 2011. He has since scored 21 goals in 97 games.
During that season Atletico received two offers, one from Al-Ahli Doha and another from Spartak Moscow. Both were rejected.
On top of this, he has had a very good time with the Brazilian youth squad, playing in the summer Olympics of 2012. He earned his first senior call-up against Argentina a few months after, and of course, as we all know, he was part of the team that won the Confederations Cup a few weeks ago.
Bernard has lately become a household name in Europe, being one of the top transfer targets for many teams.
Tottenham are the first side gunning for his signature. A side in need of goal-scoring improvement, that failed to qualify for the Champions League last season. Many people believed Bernard would end up at White Hart Lane with fellow Brazilian Paulinho.
However, the Atletico Mineiro’s president stated that “Tottenham went cold” with negotiations, we can only consider that Andre Villas-Boas turned his eyes to other options.
Following this, two new teams entered the race for Bernard, Porto and Borussia Dortmund. The current runners-up of the Champions League, fearing the possible dismemberment of the attacking squad, enquired about the winger, but with only Goetze leaving and the reinforcements of Pierre – Emerick Aubameyang and Henrick Mkhitaryan, Klopp should be satisfied.
Porto have suffered the departure of James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho already this summer. The Portuguese side are on the search for a capable young winger. Yesterday, Juan Quintero, a 20-years-old Colombian joined from Pescara. Both Quintero and Bernard would be suitable replacements for the new Monaco duo.
Finally, there is Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers seems to looking to lure the young winger away from Brazil. The club have been very successful in the the transfer market so far – with the arrival of Simon Mignolet, Kolo Toure, Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto. Rodgers will be keen to further increase the depth upfront at the club, with Luis Suarez wanting to leave as soon as possible.
In my opinion, Liverpool and Porto will have a fight on their hands for the skillful winger. Porto is prehaps the best option to complement his style of play and his development. Merseyside, however, is another great option, with many other quick, creative players the club would be very well suited to Bernard.
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