As per a report from Goal.com Brazil this afternoon, Selecao international Bernard has informed Shakhtar Donetsk that he will not sign a new contract with the club, meaning he will depart the Ukraine on a free transfer this summer.
Bernard, a gifted 25-year-old winger, has been on the books of Shakhtar since 2013, when he made the move to Europe from Brazilian outfit Atletico Mineiro.
He has also managed to rack up 14 appearances for Brazil over the course of his career to date, with his showings for the Selecao and Shakhtar having led to a number of top European clubs expressing an interest in his services.
In the past, all of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Barcelona and more have been linked with moves for Bernard, with this afternoon’s report from Goal.com highlighting the fact that a war over the South American’s signature is likely to erupt in the very-near future.
This is due to the fact that Bernard has reportedly informed Shakhtar that he has no intention of penning a new contract with the club, and, with his current deal set to expire in the summer, the diminutive wide-man will therefore be available as a free agent.
Of those previously linked with a move for Bernard, Arsenal and Chelsea are thought to maintain the most genuine interest in his services, though Manchester City, against whom the Brazilian found the net during the group stages of this season’s Champions League, are also rumoured to be keeping an eye on the situation.
Bernard himself revealed during an interview with Lance! last December that:
‘There is interest from European clubs, many things are appearing. That is why I have to have my head in the right place, be calm and know and choose the best [option]. The most important thing for me is to continue dedicated to what I do.’