Chelsea are reportedly the favourites to land Bernard Duarte on a free transfer this summer, with the Brazilian keen on joining the Blues.
According to a report by Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte, Chelsea are leading the race to sign Brazilian winger Bernard Duarte on a Bosman deal this summer. The 25-year-old is a free agent after running down his contract with Shakhtar Donetsk and is eager to make his way to Stamford Bridge.
Bernard had an impressive 2017-18 campaign for Shakhtar Donetsk, as he bagged 10 goals across all competitions, his biggest haul ever since moving to Europe in 2013. But, it turned out to be his final season with the Hirnyky, who decided to not meet the demands of the player and letting him leave as a free agent.
His status has piqued the interest of several top flight clubs, with Bernard receiving 12 official proposals from the likes of West Ham United, Leicester City, Wolfsburg and Palmeiras. But, it is Chelsea who appear to have won the race to sign him this summer.
Since the appointment of Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea have been looking towards numerous transfer prospects to bolster their squad for the upcoming season. These included Russia’s World Cup superstar Aleksandr Golovin, who eventually joined Monaco this week. But, the Blues are more focused on reinforcing the wings in the final days of the English window.
The Brazilian’s ability to play on either flank as well as in central positions makes him a suitable reinforcement, amid a squad fortification. Moreover, the possibility of Eden Hazard departing from Stamford Bridge would also require Sarri to replace the Belgian international, thus making Bernard a viable target for the Blues this summer.
Chelsea have, therefore, offered Bernard a lucrative contract, which could be good enough to seal the deal. The Blues are reportedly the preferred choice anyway for the Brazilian attacker, who is attracted to the club as well as the prospect of living in London.
Chelsea look poised to complete their third summer signing without shelling out a single penny. With not long to go before the summer transfer window slams shut in England, the Blues are starting to take the right steps, and Sarri will likely focus on keeping hold of his unsettled players in the coming weeks.