Brazilian playmaker Bernard has confirmed that both Tottenham and Arsenal were interested in securing his services last summer, but that only one of those clubs could afford the money to pay for him.
Speaking in an interview with FourFourTwo, the Shakhtar Donetsk star admitted that he loved the Premier League and had come close to moving to England after the Confederations Cup last year. The 21-year-old, fresh from being named as the youngest member of Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Brazil squad for the World Cup, told how not only did Tottenham make offers to sign him, but Arsenal tried and failed to match them.
“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,” Bernard said.
The comments made will be of interest to Gunners fans, who have regularly had to endure transfer windows of minimal activity due to the club’s stringent rules of expenditure. Of course Arsene Wenger did consent to the purchase of record-breaking signing Mesut Ozil at the back end of last summer, but supporters may be left wondering why he was the only big name to arrive at the Emirates.
Bernard was eventually sold to Shakhtar for €25million, but refused to rule out a move to the Premier League in the future.