Arsenal get hope over key transfer alternative as rivals’ offer sent packing

Sander Berge, Stuart Armstrong Southampton v Sheff Utd December 2020

Arsenal still have the potential to sign Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge if a transfer for Albert Sambi Lokonga falls through, a report claims.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has identified his team’s engine room as a priority in this summer’s transfer window. Thomas Partey bolstered the ranks in October, but another addition would make the midfield more formidable. Furthermore, Switzerland hero Granit Xhaka is reportedly slowly edging closer to a move to Roma.

As a result, Anderlecht’s Lokonga has become Arsenal’s key target for the middle of the park. The Belgian supposedly agreed his contract earlier this month, leaving the transfer fee as the only obstacle.

Arsenal look to be breaking through that barrier, too, after submitting an increased bid.

However, Blades midfielder Berge has remained in the background as a reported target in recent weeks.

But while Napoli have had the strongest recent links with the Norwegian, Gazzetta dello Sport reports (via Inside Futbol) that the Serie A club have had a proposal rejected.

The Naples side are willing to pay €10million (£8.6million) for Berge, an offer which United have immediately rejected.

While Napoli will supposedly work to reach an agreement with the South Yorkshire outfit, the door remains open for Arsenal to make a move if they wish.

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However, the move for Lokonga looks close to completion. Liverpool have also had transfer links with Berge, as they reportedly seek a replacement for the departed Georginio Wijnaldum.

Berge moved to the Premier League in January 2020 after impressing with Genk. In fact, he starred in the Champions League group stages against Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Despite starring in his first half-season in England, though, he suffered injury in 2020/21.

Arsenal eye Berge team-mate

Aaron-Ramsdale-Sam-Johnstone-Jordan-Pickford-England-TEAMtalk

Meanwhile, reports elsewhere claim that Arsenal are also looking into a deal for United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

The Englishman enjoyed top-flight football with the Blades last season, albeit suffering relegation.

However, like Berge, he impressed and has now received admiring glances from elsewhere.

READ MORE: Arsenal plans change, as talks emerge for keeper who can rival Bernd Leno