Gunners had been hoping to land Selecao forward before the start of the new season.
Arsenal have suffered a huge blow in their bid to sign highly rated Atletico Mineiro midfield player Bernard after it emerged that the Brazilian club have now accepted a bid from Shakhtar Donetsk for their star man, reports the Daily Mirror.
The north London club have been keeping close tabs on the Brazil international for some time now, along with Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, with a view to bringing the in-demand 20-year-old to the Emirates during the summer transfer window.
However, as yet Gunners head coach Arsene Wenger has still to even lodge a bid with the wide man’s club, and that has now opened the door for Ukrainian champions Shakhtar to make their own move for the player.
And Atletico president Alexandre Kalil has since confirmed that: “It’s Shakhtar. They’ve reached the price we want. If he [Bernard] wants to go, he’ll go.”
Now all that needs to be agreed are the player’s personal terms with Shakhtar, so if Arsenal are still interested in signing Bernard for next season, then they will need to act fast, with the player himself admitting: “I don’t know if it will be best for me, I’m talking with my family.
“But nothing is certain yet. I had a meeting with the president and he told me what Shakhtar offered him and myself. It is between Porto and Shakhtar.”
The winger has been with Atletico throughout his whole career to date, having made his debut for the Belo Horizonte-based club three years ago, during time Bernard has managed to find the back of the net on 21 occasions in his 99 appearances, as well as winning five Brazil caps.