The summer transfer window is finally heating up for AC Milan after new owners Elliott Management took over at the beginning of July. And while there have been no confirmed deals recently, rumors have been circulating about the status of a few current Milan players, as well as rumors that the club is looking for reinforcements.
After spending a small fortune on player transfers last summer, Milan so far have only signed players out of contract, and while Ivan Strinic might turn out to be a decent acquisition, some of the other new players haven’t exactly been inspiring.
Exclusive: #Milan reopen pursuit of #Bernard, #Leonardo to meet with the player's agents [@snhw_] https://t.co/l1hZ7vX3Ni pic.twitter.com/TAxSBjDetR— CalcioMercato (En) (@CmdotCom_En) July 27, 2018
However, reports indicate that Milan are interested in signing a more high-profile free agent. Shakhtar Donetsk forward Bernard is looking for a new club after spending five years in Ukraine, having failed to extend his contract.
The Brazilian joined Shakhtar Donetsk from Belo Horizonte based club Atlético Minero in 2013. He went on to make 157 appearances for Shakhtar, scoring 28 goals and registering 35 assists for the club in all competitions. He’s made 25 appearances in the Champions League, scoring three goals (all last season) and grabbing three assists.
In addition to Milan, a number of other clubs are rumored to be interesting in landing his signature. Chelsea, West Ham United, Lazio, and Leicester City are all reportedly looking to seal a deal for the forward, but Milan looks to be the most likely destination for him. Leonardo is reportedly in London dealing with Bernard’s agents, Giuliano Bertolucci and Kia Joorabchian, in order to sign him.
His wage demands are reported to be high, with a number as high as €3.5 million (or around €67,000 per/week) reported to be demanded for his services. It’s a high price for a player who has yet to prove himself at one of the top leagues in Europe, but considering the savings that any club will get by signing him while he’s out of contract, it’s not entirely unreasonable.
Bernard has played mainly on the wing in his career, meaning that he would be a good option to back up Suso and Hakan Çalhanoğlu, or if he excels, he could be used on the wing and Çalhanoğlu could be used in central midfield as an attacker, something that he’s done in the past in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen and Hamburger SV.
So will Bernard spurn Premier League riches to land at Milan? Time will tell, but at least there seems to be an intent to sign some additional players, rather than just be content to sell some players and stick with the same first-team players.