Everton must cash in on Bernard amid interest from Emirati club Al Nasr – or risk exacerbating further losses.
Recent reports confirmed that Yannick Bolasie could remain at Goodison Park as a further drain on Everton’s financial resources, with Middlesbrough pulling out of a proposed deal. Separate reports from The Telegraph revealed that the Toffees have set their valuation for Brazilian winger Bernard at £9m.
The 28-year-old was signed on a free transfer from Ukranian side Shahktar Donetsk in 2018 and has been the subject of interest from Serie A outfit AS Roma along with Al-Nasr in the United Arab Emirates.
The proceeds from any sale of Bernard could have a strategic stop-gap purpose, offering a buffer against further sources of financial woe. Everton recently declared losses of more than £130m, and eliminating sources of leakage on redundant wages has to be a priority.
The Toffees released unwanted players such as Oumar Niasse, but the unregistered Bolasie is an example of a player who has no future at the club. They also offloaded the likes of Theo Walcott to Southampton, who is out of contract in the summer – just like Bolasie.
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Bernard has 18 months left on his current deal and will be in a similar situation to Bolasie and Walcott next summer.
Therefore, this window is the ideal time to sell. Willing suitors, the retention of value and financial necessity all create strong conditions for a deal to be concluded.
In an added twist, the multiplicity in suitors means Everton could potentially ignite a minor bidding war.