By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Arsenal are considering a move for Brazil international Bernard as Arsene Wenger targets a second marquee forward signing of the summer, Goal understands.
Wenger is close to capturing Alexis Sanchez for £31.8 million from Barcelona and is exploring the possibility of teaming him up in attack with the Shakhtar Donetsk playmaker.
Wenger, who was on TV punditry duty as Bernard started for Brazil in their 7-1 World Cup semi-final humiliation at the hands of Germany on Wednesday night, has received encouraging scouting reports of the youngster.
Shakhtar value Bernard at around the £20m mark and Wenger is understood to be keen on making a move as Arsenal put the finishing touches to the capture of Sanchez.
The Gunners manager wants a second elite forward who can provide further mobility and pace to an attack that was found to be one-dimensional last season.
Arsenal are confident of wrapping up the signing of Sanchez within days, although Barcelona are keen not to sanction the Chilean’s departure until they have finalised Luis Suarez’s transfer from Liverpool.
As revealed by Goal, the Spanish giants have agreed to meet the release clause in Suarez’s Liverpool contract and are in advanced negotiations to sign the Uruguayan in a straight cash deal costing just over £70m.
The Merseysiders do not want a drawn-out saga and are hopeful an agreement over all aspects of Suarez’s transfer, including structure of payments, can be tied up imminently.
Barca will then give the green light for Sanchez to complete a move to the Emirates Stadium. As revealed by Goal, Arsenal and Barcelona have agreed a €40m (£31.8m) fee for Sanchez and the Gunners have offered a financial package that has been agreed in principle by the player and his representatives.
Arsenal chiefs, led by manager Wenger in Brazil, have been working hard over the last week on convincing the 25-year-old to choose a move to the Emirates and are confident he will now do so.