Chelsea are reportedly 'favourites' to seal a move for Brazilian playmaker Bernard after losing out to Monaco in the race for emerging Russian star Aleksandr Golovin as the club continues with a concerted effort to strengthen the squad for new manager Maurizio Sarri.

Bernard is currently a free agent after failing to agree a new contract with Shakhtar Donetsk at the end of last season, during which he had scored a career-high 10 goals in 29 appearances.


According to Brazilian outlet Globoesporte, the 25-year-old has as many as 12 offers. But, because he is said to 'like the club and loves the city of London', the report suggests that Chelsea are most likely to land his signature.

Fellow Premier League sides West Ham and Leicester are also alleged to have made Bernard an offer, while Globoesporte additionally names Monaco, Benfica, Wolfsburg and Palmeiras as being among the 12 suitors. Gremio made contact but stopped short of an offer.


Initially a product of the youth system at Atletico Mineiro and a former Copa Libertadores winner alongside Ronaldinho, Bernard spent five seasons with Shakhtar and won three Ukrainian Premier League titles, three Ukrainian Cups and three Ukrainian Super Cups.

He has played 14 times at senior international level for Brazil and was a member of the country's 2014 World Cup squad, but missed out on selection for this year's tournament in Russia.

Chelsea have only signed Italian midfielder Jorginho and veteran backup goalkeeper Robert Green so far this summer, yet the club remains linked with numerous ambitious targets including Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain and Manchester United winger Anthony Martial.