Chelsea are reportedly plotting a last-minute bid for Bernard in an attempt to hijack Everton’s move for the Brazilian superstar.
According to British publication Express, who are quoting Sky Sports, Chelsea have not yet admitted defeat in their pursuit of Bernard. The player has been tipped to be on his way to Everton on a free transfer. But, the report iterates that the Blues are plotting a last-minute hijack of the Brazilian star.
Chelsea were thought to be leading the chase, with the player available on a free transfer. But, recent updates suggested that Everton had taken over the lead and were primed to land Bernard. The Brazilian has been tipped to join Richarlison and Lucas Digne as the star additions to the first-team at Goodison.
Bernard chose to end his five-year association with Shakhtar Donetsk by deciding to run down his contract at the club. The Brazilian chose to try out the Bosman market after 157 appearances for the Ukrainian giants. The star emerged as an option for Chelsea and Everton, especially with the player available for zero outlay as far as the transfer fees is concerned.
Chelsea have completed just one signing thus far, in the form of Jorginho, who decided to join his former manager Maurizio Sarri at the club. The attack is still an area that needs reinforcement(s), especially out wide. Sarri has Willian, Pedro and Eden Hazard as his options on the wing.
The rise of Callum Hudson-Odoi during the pre-season is endearing. But, the player is unlikely to be anything more than a backup, at least for the 2018-19 campaign.
Bernard will come for cheap, which would be huge, especially with Chelsea spending a world-record fee to land Kepa Arrizabalaga as Thibaut Courtois looks destined to join Real Madrid.
Everton on the other hand, want to beef up their attack as Marco Silva sets about his journey of making Everton a contender for not just the top six but for a place in the top four.
There were reports that the player is set to complete his transfer to Everton soon and become their third major signing of the summer. Everton were said to be offering Bernard a four-year deal worth around £5.3 million annually. But, Chelsea might have other plans.
The report adds that there is no update as to whether Chelsea have been able to hijack the deal. For now, all we know is that Chelsea could play spoilsport.
One thing that edges this story towards a rumour is the fact that Maurizio Sarri iterated the need for a midfielder. And, if Mateo Kovacic arrives as part of the Thibaut Courtois deal, it is unlikely that Chelsea will move for Bernard.
Thus, it seems like Everton will be able to land Bernard without much hassle. Another coup for the Toffees ahead of the start of the 2018-19 Premier League campaign.