Winger’s Everton adventure over as new club announces signing
Bernard’s time as an Everton player is over after a side based in the United Arab Emirates confirmed the signing of the Brazilian.
The 28-year-old has just completed his third full season at Goodison Park, having arrived on a free from Shakhtar Donetsk. However, he has fallen down the pecking order on Merseyside, having made just 18 appearances in all competitions last season.
And new boss Rafa Benitez clearly has no plans to include the 14-times Brazilian in his squad. Indeed, Benitez has quickly strengthened his wide options, having brought in Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend.
Indeed, the writing appeared on the wall when Bernard posted a goodbye on social media to Toffees star Lucas Digne.
And having pushed for a lucrative move to the Middle East for some time, it seems Bernard has finally got his wish.
That’s after UAE-based Sharjah FC confirmed the signing of Bernard from Everton on social media. It does need stressing, however, that at the time of writing, the Toffees are yet to announce his exit from their end.
And as per their Twitter page, Bernard has penned a two-year-deal at Sharjah.
“We welcome the joining of the Brazilian international ‘Bernard’ (28 years old) to the Castle of Kings, coming from the English club Everton, with a contract that extends for two seasons,” they tweeted.
Bernard’s contract at Goodison was not due to expire until summer 2023. But as one of their higher earners, the club were believed to be willing to let him leave for a nomimal fee.
Now with a deal done, Bernard has posted his farewells on Instagram.
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“First of all I would like to thank the fans, and all the players who were with me and always supported me at all times. Since I arrived I was always well received and treated as if I was really a member of the family.
“Unfortunately you who support me and not those who appear here to spread the words of hate don’t know half of what happens behind the scenes.
“I wanted to be more clear but unfortunately today I can’t. The message I leave today is of gratitude and you will always be special. Everton is giant.”
Bernard leaves Goodison with eight goals in 84 goals appearances for the Toffees.
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Gray, meanwhile, has signed a three-year deal with Everton with the option of a fourth year.
Having arrived from a short spell with Bayer Leverkusen, Gray admits Benitez was a big factor in his decision to sign.
“I’m delighted to be back in the Premier League at such a big club and I’m excited to play with the team and get to work, ” he told Everton’s website.
He added: “Speaking to the manager and (director of football) Marcel Brands, I had a really good feel for the club and I feel this is a place where I can continue to develop.
“The manager, with his ambition and what he has won in the past, is important and we’ll look to push forward and compete with the top clubs. I think a club of this magnitude has all the potential to be right up there.
“Collectively with what Marcel and the manager have said to me, everything fits, including the club’s ambitions and goals. Everton are a very big club and the main objective is to be pushing and competing back up there in the table.
“I want to work hard on the training pitch and work my hardest for the club on the pitch.”
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