Having failed in their attempts to lure Gonzalo Higuain to the Emirates it seems Arsenal are set to miss out on another of their summer targets in Brazilian Confederations Cup star Bernard.
Everton’s Marouane Fellaini, Swansea skipper Ashley Williams and new Man City signing Stevan Jovetic have also been heavily linked with moves to north London during the close season, each time to no avail.
The Gunners are currently 10/1 in the Premier League outright betting, despite a rocket-powered 2012/13 run-in that saw them go unbeaten in their last 10 games, winning eight times.
The juicy price may have much to do with their failure to land key transfer targets and Atletico Mineiro winger Bernard looks likely to be another player to slip through their fingers.
Brazilian football website Lancenet recently reported the diminutive 20-year-old as saying his future lies “between Porto and Shakhtar”.
Bernard’s Selecao teammate Hulk had previously damaged Arsenal’s chances of recruiting the creative midfielder – who formed a lethal attacking trio with Ronaldinho and Jo as Atletico won the Copa Libertadores – by suggesting that the Portuguese champions would be the best destination for the youngster.
Shakhtar have thrown down the gauntlet with a bid for the midfielder, but mindful of the problems Brazilian players based in Eastern Europe – such as Willian and Fernandinho – seem to have had catching the eye of national team managers in the past, a move to Portugal is his preferred option.
Of Arsenal’s Premier League rivals, only Newcastle have signed fewer players over the course of the summer window and French Under-20 international Yaya Sanogo remains their only acquisition so far.
The Gunners’ pursuit of Luis Suarez remains in full flight, with Anfield and the Emirates inseparable as 9/10 co-favourites to be the Uruguayan’s destination at the close of the current window.
Liverpool are thought to be after a fee in the region of the reported £55m Napoli received for Suarez’s Uruguay teammate Edinson Cavani if they are to part with the striker and Arsenal’s most recent bid was some way off that at £40,000,001.