Everton would make Carlo Ancelotti’s “impossible” task even harder by selling Bernard after the rumoured AS Roma target’s performance when replacing Richarlison against Manchester United.
According to Il Tempo, via Sport Witness, Roma manager Paulo Fonseca is interested in a potential January move to lure Bernard to the Stadio Olimpico after failing to secure a loan deal for the Brazilian during the last transfer window.
The Giallorossi held talks with Everton on Deadline Day in October as Fonseca aimed to secure a reunion with Bernard, having worked alongside the playmaker when he was in charge of Shakhtar Donetsk.
A potential move to Italy appealed to Bernard but he saw his route out of Goodison Park blocked by Everton, who refused to allow the £120,000-per-week Marco Silva signing to leave as Ancelotti had plans for him.
Bernard’s agent, Adriano Spadoto, confirmed Roma could look to revive their interest in January, while noting that his client may even be sold for around €7million (£6.2m) despite having a year-and-a-half remaining on his lucrative contract.
The latest word coming out of Italy suggests that Fonseca is indeed interested in reviving Roma’s pursuit, with it noted that the 47-year-old is determined to acquire either Bernard or Stephan El Shaarawy and that he will be backed by the Giallorossi’s new ownership in the transfer market.
It remains to be seen if Everton are warmer to the idea of selling or loaning Bernard to Roma this winter, given that the midfielder has started just one Premier League fixture and featured from the bench twice thus far this season.
While chances to feature in the top-flight have been few and far between at Goodison Park this term, Everton Director of Football Marcel Brands now accepting Roma’s advances could make Ancelotti’s “impossible” task even harder after the Italian stated how difficult it is competing without Richarlison.
The Brazilian has been suspended for Everton’s last three Premier League fixtures, and while Alex Iwobi and Andre Gomes started in a left-forward role at Southampton and Newcastle, it was Bernard who Ancelotti turned to last time out at home to Manchester United.
Bernard lit up the stage in his first – and only – Premier League start of the season, as he presented Everton’s brightest and most creative spark, drifting in from the left-channel to provide great link-up play with the overlapping Lucas Digne.
United struggled to contain Bernard whenever the 28-year-old cut inside, and he was fully deserving of his first top-flight goal since February – his only prior league effort under Ancelotti.
It was a performance like those seen on occasion under Silva, who lauded Bernard in 2019 when speaking to the Liverpool Echo’s Phil Kirkbride: “He is a fantastic football player. His knowledge about the tactical side and our defensive idea is fantastic.”
With chances to feature regularly seeming to be remote, Bernard may be eager for a new challenge in Italy. But with Iwobi, in particular, struggling to stand in for Richarlison, Ancelotti may now need Bernard more than ever before and thus, he might realise that he must award the midfielder more minutes, even with his preferred forward back available once the international break is over, to keep him happy