Bernard faces tough choice as surprise suitors eye quick deal

Bernard TEAMtalk

Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal are reportedly keen to sign Everton midfielder Bernard before the end of the week.

Transfer windows throughout Europe may be closed but the Saudi Pro League can still do business until October 25.

Bernard, 28, has not made an appearance this season and appears to have slipped down the Goodison Park pecking order. Summer signings James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure seem ahead of the man capped 14 times by Brazil.

Signed from Shakhtar Donetsk in summer 2018, the talented winger has made 68 appearances in all competitions for the Merseysiders. However, it is open to debate whether he will see too much action with the talent at Carlo Ancelotti’s disposal.

Goal state that the Middle East outfit have submitted a £6m bid and are waiting to hear from the Premier League leaders. Bernard would prefer to ply his trade in English football and may stay and fight for his Everton place. Should Al-Hilal fail with their current offer, there is the option of trying again in January.

Ancelotti’s men have started the new season in superb fashion, with four straight victories. Saturday’s 2-2 Merseyside draw with Liverpool was another confidence boost for the blue half of the city.

Next up is a trip to St Mary’s on Saturday and it is unlikely that Bernard will play any part.

Al-Hilal, managed by Romanian Razvan Lucescu, have other options should they fail to land the South American. Sporting CP forward Luciano Vietto and Santos winger Yeferson Soteldo are also on their shortlist.

Ancelotti working his magic with James

Everton’s sparkling early-season form is in no small part down to the form of James. The Colombia international has hit the ground running since his summer move from Real Madrid.

It is still early days but the Italian tactician seems to be succeeding where Real chief Zinedine Zidane failed. James never hit top form at the Bernabeu and spent 2017-2019 on loan with Bayern Munich.

A 2014 big-money move from Monaco failed to live up to the hype and many have questioned the huge fee. However, he has already shown glimpses of his talent with three goals in five top-flight outings.

It remains to be seen how the former Porto ace handles the harsh winter conditions in England. It will be tough but Ancelotti may be the man to get the best out of the mercurial schemer.


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