Everton must win three-way race for Bernard

Everton are one of three teams in the race to sign Brazil international Bernard, and Marco Silva could get his reign off to an excellent start by securing the pacey playmaker.

What’s the story?

According to journalist Andersinho Marques, former Shakhtar Donetsk winger Bernard will move to the Premier League this summer.

The 14-cap Brazilian, who has registered 35 assists in 157 appearances for the Ukrainian outfit as per Transfermarkt, is a free agent after opting not to renew his contract with the Ukrainian club, and will now reportedly choose between Everton, Arsenal and Liverpool.

The 25 year-old has also been heavily linked with a move to West Ham, and Hammers fans even suspected it was a done deal when the player’s agent posted an Instagram picture at the London Stadium on Friday.

However, it appears the race is now down to just three, and Liverpool’s swoop for Xherdan Shaqiri will probably rule them out. Bernard can play in a whole host of attacking positions, but spent most of last season on the left wing, where he could fix a big problem for Silva and Everton.

Everton’s own Coutinho?

The probable exit of Yannick Bolasie will leave a gaping hole on Everton’s left wing, and Ademola Lookman will not be able to fill that void by himself. Fans are desperate to see more of the young Englishman, but they simply cannot rely on an unproven raw talent to be their first choice.

Bernard would immediately compete for this spot on the wing, while also adding competition for other places and giving Silva plenty of options to rotate. The crafty little Brazilian, standing at just 5 ft 5, is valued at £14.4m by Transfermarkt, so getting him on a free would be excellent business.

The 25 year-old has a similar dribbling style to Philippe Coutinho, using his low centre of gravity, fantastic close control and rapid burst of acceleration to force defenders to either foul him or let him past.

Marcel Brands has yet to make a summer signing since arriving at Goodison Park, but there is no doubt that the capture of Bernard would be a big one, and it would prove that they can match the ambitions of rivals West Ham who have already sealed big-money deals for Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko.

The Toffees have also been linked with a mega money move for Wilfried Zaha, who would no doubt be an excellent signing. However, Bernard is more versatile than the Palace winger, and wouldn’t stifle Lookman because of his ability to play in multiple positions.

So, Everton fans, would you like to sign Bernard on a free? Do you think you can beat Arsenal and Liverpool to his signature? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…