The pleasure of following the transfer market and movements of players is a bit like playing Whack-a-Mole with hand grenades and light sabers. Because, you see...uh, so the hand grenades are the moles and...um, you know, I really don't know how I came up with that analogy; I'm tired from today's fun and root cause of my future alcoholism. But dammit if that analogy doesn't make sense to me. Anyway, moving on.
Nine hours ago, the Daily Mail went to press with an article titled "EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool and Tottenham tussle for £20m-rated Brazil wing man Bernard." Pretty cool, I say. I would love to see Daniel Levy and John Henry thumb-wrestle it out. Maybe the first to submit in a shin-kicking contest. Either way, I think society wins when two clubs fight it out. But then, the tune changed, just a little over an hour ago, by the Mail of all sources:
Arsenal are closing on a deal for Atletico Mineiro midfielder Bernard.
The Brazil international has been linked with Tottenham, Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Porto but Arsenal have opened talks over a proposed £21million move.
The pint-sized playmaker, he stands just under 5ft 6ins tall, is left-footed but can play across the midfield.
He is 20 years old and has played 97 games for the Belo Horizonte side scoring 21 goals.
There's more to that article that talks, truthfully, about Andre Santos' move away, but that's all it has to say about a "near swoop" by Arsenal for Bernard. Nothing else. And yes, I know, Daily Mail, but. There's no source, no quotes, not even one of the papers' favorite lines "we understand that...". So where did this come from?
Last night, ESPN Brazil reporter Ale Oliveria was on a radio show in Brazil and said this:
Ale Oliveira (ESPN Brasil reporter): "Bernard is going to join Arsenal." #AFC— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStats) July 19, 2013
I've tried to find any further quotes from Oliveria stating his reason why he believes this, but there's nothing on the internet further explaining his prediction. There's been no real previous noise prior to the last 24 hours linking Arsenal with the Brazilian, since the assumption has been that Liverpool and Tottenham were due to enter a locked steel cage match in The Fight for Bernard's Rights.
However, while we're now apparently the surprise guest about to enter from stage right to the approving audience, I wouldn't say we're winning any sort of tussle for Bernard - let alone have a key to enter the locked steel cage.