Arsenal win race for Bernard - reports

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Arsenal have won the race to sign Brazilian sensation Bernard, according to reports.

ESPN Brazil claims the Gunners have beaten their rivals to the 20-year-old’s signature, agreeing a £21million deal for the attacking midfielder.

Reports in The Daily Mail earlier in the day claimed Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool were involved in a transfer tussle for the Atletico Mineiro starlet.

However, the speculation in the player’s homeland claims Arsene Wenger has beaten his Premier League rivals, and will add the youngster to his ranks at the Emirates Stadium next season.

Bernard had hinted before the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final, which Mineiro lost 2-0 to Olimpia, that he could be on his way out of the club.

"If it's my last game [for Atletico Mineiro] or not, it will be one of the most important titles in my career," he said, according to The Daily Star.

And, respected Brazilian reporter Alexandre Oliviera appears to believe that the second leg might be Bernard’s last action for his current club.

"Atletico Mineiro’s Bernard is going to join Arsenal," he wrote on his Twitter account.

If Bernard does arrive in north London this summer, he’ll join a group of young players looking to help the Gunners challenge for the title once again in England.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott have plenty of years ahead of them, and Wenger is building an exciting group once again at Arsenal.

As for Tottenham Hotspur, the transfer news will be a blow to manager Andre Villas-Boas, who has missed out on a number of targets this summer.

Paulinho has moved to Spurs already in the window, but other players are yet to join the Brazilian at White Hart Lane.

And, missing out on his compatriot Bernard – particularly to local rivals Arsenal – will be a disappointment for the Tottenham chief.

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