Arsenal are pondering a summer swoop for Brazilian international and Shakhtar Donetsk starlet Bernard.
This is according to reports from Goal, which suggest that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is looking to pursue another key attacking signing to supplement the imminent arrival of Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez.
Indeed, the same source further claims that Arsenal are keen to bid for Bernard, with Wenger hearing positive reports of his abilities from members of his scouting team and, perhaps most significantly, the club becoming aware of the 21-year-old's apparent desire to leave his current employers.
World Cup misery
If Bernard - who only moved to Ukraine from Atlético Mineiro last summer - was looking forward to this year's World Cup on home territory to ease his worries at domestic level, then Tuesday evening's scarcely believable 7-1 semi-final mauling at the hands of Germany will have done little to boost his fragile confidence.
He played the full 90 minutes of that aforementioned humiliation in Belo Horizonte, as Brazil's hopes of finally laying to rest the ghosts of 1950 - when they lost the final at the Maracana to Uruguay - quickly morphed into a far bigger nightmare.
Unlike teammates Fred and Hulk, however, Bernard did not appear to be subject to particularly fierce criticism from disgusted supporters. The semi-final was only his third appearance of the tournament, following two cameo roles in earlier Group A fixtures against Croatia and Mexico.
Watch: The latest Arsenal transfer news
The potential double signing of Sanchez and Bernard along with a deal for Newcastle defender Mathieu Debuchy would presumably go some way to appeasing Arsenal fans, many of whom had become slightly concerned with the club's lack of business in comparison to the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.
While Wenger reportedly plans to convert Sanchez into an out-and-out centre-forward to provide competition and critical support for Olivier Giroud, one presumes that Bernard - if he were to move to the Emirates Stadium - would capitalise upon his versatility to compete for a starting berth either in an attacking midfield role or indeed out on one of the flanks.
Valued at £20 million, Bernard would obviously not come particularly cheap. However, given that he has shown a lot of potential, Wenger may well be encouraged to break with tradition and pay such an inflated fee in order to boost Arsenal's pursuit of further silverware.
Presuming deals for all three of the club's current targets progress, Wenger will surely next be on the lookout for a goalkeeper to compensate for the recent loss of Lukasz Fabianski.
The Pole rejected the chance of a new contract towards the end of last season and subsequently moved to Swansea after becoming frustrated with a lack of opportunities to usurp compatriot Wojciech Szczesny as first-choice in North London.
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