Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Bernard Would Be Worth Investment for Reds

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2013

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 26:  Bernard of Brazil in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Semi Final match between Brazil and Uruguay at Governador Magalhaes Pinto Estadio Mineirao on June 26, 2013 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is getting tested. The Reds are going through a drama-filled summer highlighted by Luis Suarez, and the boss is doing everything he can to juggle all of the different issues at once.

While the Suarez situation will continue to dominate the headlines, Liverpool must also be seeking out ways to improve the squad, regardless of how things play out with the club's star striker.

One intriguing name that's popped up is Bernard.

The 20-year-old Atletico Mineiro rising star is on the Reds' transfer radar, but they aren't alone in their pursuit, reports Chris Bascombe of The Telegraph.

Liverpool are interested in 20-year-old Brazilian winger Bernard and have approached his club, Atletico Mineiro. Bernard has a release clause of around £20 million, but the South American is wanted by several Champions League clubs, Arsenal believed to be among them.

As with the recent pursuit of Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Liverpool are vulnerable to having prime targets lured elsewhere to play in the elite competition.

It's a move that would be made with an eye on the future. Bernard is still very much in the development phase of his career. However, the stretches of strong play in which he flashes a terrific combination of pace and attacking instincts are enough to warrant interest.

He's scored 21 goals across all competitions over the past two seasons with the Galo—not an eye-popping amount, but certainly solid production considering his age and the level of competition in the Brasileirao.

One of the most impressive things about the Brazilian international is his work rate. The talent is obvious, but without the sustained effort to take his game to the next level, clubs like Liverpool wouldn't be showing interest.

When you combine his seemingly sky-high potential with an elite work rate, it's a lot easier to make such a large investment for a player who hasn't proven himself in Europe.

What makes the potential move so intriguing is the presence of Philippe Coutinho. Between Bernard and Coutinho, Liverpool would have two players capable of forming an explosive attacking combination within the next couple of seasons.

In order to compete with the top Premier League clubs, Liverpool have to take some risks. They can't play it safe, take very few chances in the transfer market and expect to make up ground on the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

Although it's no guarantee Bernard will reach his full potential, the fact other clubs are involved shows the level of confidence that he's going to is rising. The Reds must try to strike first before it's too late and another potential impact player slips away.

Overall, Rodgers is doing a good job with the hand he's been dealt with Liverpool. Smaller moves can only carry the club so far, though. He needs to make a couple of statement acquisitions if he's going to get the club back in the title conversation.

Bernard would fall in that category and is worth the risk.