Arsenal on alert as Bernard is made available for loan switch

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Arsenal have been placed on high alert after it has become apparent that Shakhtar midfielder Bernard may be available for loan, reports the Mirror.

Arsene Wenger is to be an admirer of the Brazilian playmaker and was linked with him on several occasions in the past 18 months, most noticeably just prior to his £20 million transfer to Shakhtar last summer.

The recent unrest in Ukraine has led to several players refusing to train, and the club having to move to a new stadium, which is 1000km from their main home in Donetsk, a stronghold for rebel fighters.

Only temporary

Bernard’s potential move to England would only be on a temporary basis, according to a club source.

"To let him go for free or for pennies won't work. The club will not allow it.

"In such a situation it is better to give the player a one year loan” a club source told a local paper.

A loan with an option to buy could be an option to Wenger, who was already spent upwards of £60m on Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy and David Ospina.

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Long-term target

The 21-year-old had attracted plenty of interest from across the continent last summer, after some dazzling displays for his hometown club Atlético Mineiro.

In the aftermath of his move to Ukraine the midfielder admitted that there had been interest from both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, but Shakhtar were the only club to stump up an initial £20m for a player unproven outside Brazil.

He stands at only 5'4'' though and that could be a concern for Premier League clubs, which is why a loan move with an option to buy may be more of a viable option for Arsene Wenger.

Will he fit in?

When Wenger was initially interested in the Brazilian he was certainly lacking someone of real quality in midfield to bring the club forward. Since then, he has spent over £70 million on Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez, as well as having Santi Carzola and Jack Wilshire available.

Quite where the Brazilian will fit in now would be unclear, however with the club hoping to build on their FA cup win last season, strength in depth is going to be a key factor.

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