Sharjah sign Brazilian winger Bernard from Premier League side Everton

Former Shakhtar Donestsk midfielder has agreed to a two-year contract

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Sharjah have signed Bernard, the Brazilian winger, from English Premier League side Everton.

The former Shakhtar Donestsk midfielder, 28, has agreed to a two-year contract and will join up the 2018-19 Arabian Gulf League (AGL) champions at their pre-season training in the emirates.

Sharjah view Bernard as going some way to replacing star player Igor Coronado, who left the club earlier this month for Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad in a reported $12 million deal.

Sharjah have already made permanent Caio Lucas’ move from Portugal’s Benfica. The Brazilian, also a winger, spent last season on loan at Sharjah Stadium.

Bernard had been close to a transfer to the AGL in January, although a deal to take him to Al Nasr never materialised.

The former Brazil international, who moved to Everton in 2018 on a four-year contract, made only three Premier League starts last season under then-manager Carlo Ancelotti – Bernard appeared 12 times in all in the league - and was deemed surplus to requirements by his replacement, Rafael Benitez.

Everton have already recruited Andros Townsend, most recently of Crystal Palace, and on Thursday signed former Leicester City wideman Demarai Gray from Bayer Leverkusen.

Bernard, who scored five league goals during his time at Goodison Park, did not return with the rest of the Everton squad for pre-season training. At Shakhtar, he won both the Ukrainian league title and the Ukrainian Cup three times.

Sharjah are understood to be also near to completing a deal for striker Ben Malango from Moroccan heavyweights Raja Casablanca. The DR Congo frontman, top scorer this year in the CAF Confederation Cup, will replace Brazilian Welliton Soares.

Sharjah will seek to once again challenge for major honours this season after finishing the last campaign fourth in the table, where they were nine points off eventual winners Al Jazira.

The six-time UAE champions will in September also contest the last 16 of the Asian Champions League. They face Al Wahda in an all-Emirati clash for a place in the quarter-finals.

The 2021-22 AGL season gets under way on August 19.

Updated: July 23, 2021, 8:16 AM