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03rd Aug 2018

West Ham chasing Brazil international to bolster attacking options

The winger never got his move from Shakhtar to one of Europe's elite but he could be set to join West Ham before the end of the window

Reuben Pinder

Cast your mind back to 2013

The Confederations Cup. Brazil are hosts for the dress rehearsal of the World Cup the following year. It’s our first real chance to see Neymar outside of a YouTube compilation. The Brazil squad is a mix of bright young talent and washed up strikers, namely Fred and Jô.

One of Brazilian’s brightest stars, tipped to set the world alight in the next few years is Bernard. The wide man had just come off the back of a 15 goal season for Atlético Mineiro, and European clubs were circling, eager to get their hands on the next best thing to come out of South America – after Neymar, of course.

He ended up moving to Ukranian side Shakhtar Donetsk, where he has now played for five seasons. Teams in Ukraine and Russia often act as a stop gap for Brazilians before they make the jump to Europe’s elite clubs, for reasons both visa related and due to the nature of Brazilian Série A stars being unknown quantities who have not yet proved themselves against elite opposition.

But Bernard never got that move across to western Europe, staying at Shakhtar for five seasons. That could be about to change though, as West Ham are reportedly confident of signing the 25-year-old.

Granted, it’s not quite the move to Liverpool, or Real Madrid that he was once tipped to secure, but it is the Premier League.

West Ham have already signed Felipe Anderson from Lazio and Andriy Yarmolenko from Borussia Dortmund. With Manuel Lanzini out injured for most of the season, Bernard could slot into the number 10 position between Anderson and Yarmolenko behind Marko Arnautović up front.

Manuel Pellegrini took over from David Moyes at West Ham and has wasted no time in strenghtening his squad, with Jack Wilshere and Issa Diop also joining the Hammers.