By Rory O’Callaghan
Last Updated: 05/07/18 10:22pm
Brighton have completed the signing of RB Leipzig defender Bernardo Fernandes da Silva Junior.
The 23-year-old Brazilian full-back joins the Seagulls on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee, after a two-year spell in the Bundesliga.
“We’re delighted to welcome Bernardo to the club,” said Brighton manager Chris Hughton.
“He is a strong, committed defender who can play on the left or right, and so his versatility gives us good options at the back.
“For a young player he already has good experience, having played in the Bundesliga, the Champions League and the Europa League.
“He is a good character and speaks numerous languages, and I’m sure he will fit in well with the rest of the squad.”
Sao Paulo-born Bernardo moved from his homeland to Europe in January 2016, joining Red Bull Salzburg.
After winning the Austrian title, he transferred to Leipzig seven months later, making 49 appearances for the Bundesliga side during the last two seasons.
Bernardo says he was persuaded to join Brighton after watching the club’s performances last season in their first year back in the top flight.
“I chose the club because they showed a big interest in me and my goal has always been to play in the Premier League because it’s the biggest league in the world,” he told the club’s official website.
“I heard about the interest and then when I saw the fans, the club and the facilities and the sea, I knew it was the right place for me.
“I saw how the club did in their first season because everyone watches the league – and they were very impressive.
“The club came up and embraced the stage and had a wonderful year, everyone was very impressed, and I wanted to become a part of that.”