Carlo Ancelotti faces a continued problem at Everton with Bernard after the Brazilian’s winter transfer to United Arab Emirates outfit Al Nasr collapsed on Deadline Day.
What’s the word?
According to the Liverpool Echo, negotiations between the Toffees and Al Nasr fell through in the final hours of the winter transfer market.
Everton had strived to offload the midfielder throughout the mid-season window as they looked to reduce a bloated wage bill, with Bernard earning £120,000-per-week but failing to establish himself under Ancelotti.
The Blues would have been due a fee as part of the deal for a player they signed for free in the summer of 2018, after landing Bernard following his release by Shakhtar Donetsk.
Bernard had appeared set to leave Goodison Park for Al Nasr after agreeing on personal terms with the Middle Eastern side, who entered into advanced negotiations with The Blues over the weekend, per Fabrizio Romano.
The value of the fee that Everton would have received is unclear, with previous reports claiming the Merseyside club valued Bernard at £9m but had agreed to a loan deal that carried a €5m (£4.5m) obligation to make the deal permanent in the summer.
Ancelotti has only started Bernard in two Premier League games this season and has elected to leave the 28-year-old as an unused substitute in 12 of his side’s fixtures to date.
A continued problem for Everton
Bernard failing to secure his move to Al Nasr on Deadline Day has left Ancelotti facing a continued problem at Everton, as the Italian clearly does not value what the Brazilian can bring to the side at Goodison Park.
But the Blues looked lost of forward vision during their 1-1 draw with Leicester City last month, as the Foxes were able to dominate the majority of the game as Ancelotti’s men sat in deep, trying to protect James Rodriguez’s deadlock-breaking strike.
Yet even once Youri Tielemans found a way past Jordan Pickford, via the England goalkeeper’s gloves, Ancelotti turned to Alex Iwobi and Gylfi Sigurdsson to inject a spark in his side, then introduced defender Seamus Coleman for top-scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Bernard was just left on the bench to watch the game, then was completely omitted from the matchday squad which lost 2-0 at home to Newcastle United on Saturday.
Anthony Gordon, who was a back-up against Newcastle, has now joined Preston North End on loan for the remainder of the season and that decision must see Ancelotti think again over his use of Bernard, as a recall has to be on the cards given the potential impact he could have.
Former England international Danny Mills lauds Bernard for what he is capable of with the ball at his feet, and – now his options are reduced – Ancelotti needs to see it on the pitch.
“He is different to the other attackers at Everton,” Mills told soccer Insider. “He reminds me of Bernardo Silva at times. That sort of diminutive player with fabulous ability on the ball. He can pick a pass and dribble, but you have to get him on the ball in the right areas.”
If Ancelotti does not give Bernard the chance to gain a more pivotal role, the midfielder will only prove to be a continued problem and Everton’s Director of soccer Marcel Brands will have to spend the coming months searching for a suitor willing who is willing to buy him.
AND in other news, the exit of a £28k-p/w dud is great news for a “gifted” Everton outcast…