Arsenal set to miss out on £21m Bernard

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Arsenal are facing up to the prospect of missing out on another transfer target after a move for Brazilian playmaker Bernard was all but ruled out by the player's agent Adriano Spodato.

The Gunners were thought to be close to sealing a deal for the young star after reports emerged that a £21m deal had been agreed with his club Atletico Mineiro.

Those initial reports were found to be false but interest from Arsenal was still strong.

However, a move to north London now looks unlikely for the 20-year-old after Spodato revealed there was a strong chance he would move to Portugal.

"I can confirm that the possibility [of joining Porto] is strong, but there is Shakhtar Donetsk too," he told Mais Futebol. 

"It should be between those. On Monday or Tuesday there should be something more concrete.

"If it was up to me, Bernard would be a Porto player. I told him that this is the best way. 

"It is preferable to enter a medium, but good, European club, rather than risk a top club and have no space to play. Indeed, Bernard is very interested in going to Porto."

The revelation will come as frustrating news to Arsenal, who have already failed in their attempts to sign Gonzalo Higuain and are stumbling over a deal for Luis Suarez.

They were dealt a further blow after the player's father revealed that Porto legend Hulk has told Bernard that Portugal would be the best place for him to develop.

"He wants to continue his career at a club like Porto," Duarte told the media. 

"He dreams of that. Bernard is Hulk's friend, they became very close in the national squad and they talked about this.

"Hulk spoke highly of the club and [Bernard] was convinced it would be a safe bet for this stage of his career."

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