In what can only be regarded as a surprising turn of events, free agent Bernard will not be joining either AC Milan or Chelsea, the two teams with whom he had been linked with the most throughout the summer.
His final destination is instead ... Everton?
| Bernard signs a four-year contract with the Blues!— Everton (@Everton) August 9, 2018
Bem vinda, @b_10duarte!
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Bernard was a free agent after leaving Shakhtar Donetsk at the end of the season, and at just 25 years old, made for a very attractive transfer target. Not often can a team sign a recent Brazil international in his mid-20s for free!
Chelsea may or may not have made a late play, but earlier stories also made it clear that Chelsea had set Tuesday as the deadline for Bernard to decide. Certainly, the Blues’ need for Bernard was neither obvious nor immediate, especially with Pedro signing a one-year extension and Willian staying.
Chelsea have lodged a late bid to sign Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Bernard, according to Sky sources, but the Brazilian is on his way to Everton for a medical.— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 7, 2018
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At Chelsea, Bernard would’ve also been backup to Eden Hazard, and taking potential minutes away from young prospect Callum Hudson-Odoi. At Everton, he can feature regularly, playing right next to fellow new arrival Richarlison and under the guidance of their new coach, Marco Silva.
Losing out on the race for Bernard is not really a major issue. Four wingers, including a world-class one in Eden, should be more than enough to get the team through the season.