Marcel Brands should agree to a discount deal to send Everton midfielder Bernard to United Arab Emirates side Al Nasr on loan with an obligation to buy.
According to Fussball Transfers, Bernard will leave Goodison Park during the final days of the January transfer window and sign a short-term deal to join Al Nasr until the end of the season.
The agreement will include a €5m (£4.5m) obligation to turn the move permanent in the summer, after he has struggled to establish a pivotal role under Carlo Ancelotti this term.
Everton chiefs had made Bernard available for a winter move as they sought to slash the club’s bloated wage bill and rid themselves of those struggling to get a look in, amid interest from Al Nasr and AS Roma in the Brazilian midfielder.
The Toffees were not expected to accept any discounts to facilitate Bernard’s departure, with a £9m price tag slapped on the £120,000-per-week playmaker who had spoken with Roma boss Paulo Fonseca over a move to the Serie A side.
Everton’s stance led the Giallorossi to end their pursuit, having found the Blues difficult to negotiate with during talks over a potential swap deal involving goalkeeper Robin Olsen.
Bernard thus looked likely to stay at Goodison Park, where he has started just two of his six Premier League appearances this season, but may now be set for a move to Saudi Arabia.
Bernard is clearly far from Ancelotti’s immediate thinking when deciding how best to secure Everton a European qualifying berth, and may be as far from the fore as ever before after Lucas Digne was selected at left-midfield over the Brazilian against Leicester City on Wednesday.
It was the second time in successive Premier League games that Ancelotti favoured fielding Digne in a wide midfield role over Bernard, and once again opted to leave the former Shakhtar Donetsk playmaker on the bench throughout the 90 minutes
Former England international Carlton Palmer recently spoke exclusively with Football FanCast and voiced confidence in Everton agreeing a deal to sell Bernard ahead of Monday’s (February 1) deadline, as there is no reason for the Brazilian to stay at Goodison Park if he is not playing.
The 28-year-old has now been left as an unused substitute in 12 top-flight fixtures this term, while being given only the final 23 minutes of the Blues’ FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday, as Bernard continues to bleed majority owner Farhad Moshiri dry on his vastly lucrative contract.
The £13.5m-rated maestro may have been signed as a free agent in 2018, but has now cost Everton £15.5m in wages over his 129 weeks as a Toffees player and with little to show for it. Bernard has scored just seven goals and provided seven assists in 77 games.
If Al Nasr have slapped a formal bid down on the table for Bernard, Brands should see little reason in not accepting the offer and ridding Everton of the midfielder who Darren Bent claims often “flatters to deceive” when given a chance to show his true talents.