Arsenal have launched what is reported as an opening £17.2m offer for Sander Berge – but the bid falls well short of the price Sheffield United are seeking for the midfielder.
The Blades raised eyebrows in January 2020 by bringing in the Norway international from Genk. Indeed, he arrived in South Yorkshire having gained Champions League experience with his previous employers. He even played against Liverpool and supposedly impressed Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.
However, then-United manager Chris Wilder won the race for the 23-year-old and he impressed.
After signing at the end of January, he played in every Premier League match until the end of the season. Nevertheless, this campaign has proved a challenge for the Blades in more ways than one.
Indeed, their relegation has long since been confirmed; the lengthy absence of Berge with a hamstring injury exacerbated their struggles.
It’s since been confirmed by interim boss Paul Heckingbottom that he’s played his last game of the season.
According to widespread reports, that might be Berge done in a Blades shirt too. He seems unlikely to play Championship football amid interest from Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal.
Now reports in France claim the Gunners are the first of that trio to make a move. As per Jeunes Footeux, Arsenal have launched an opening offer worth €20m (£17.2m) for Berge. The article claims that while Sheffield United are aware Berge plans to leave, the bid will be rejected.
That’s because they state the player has been informed that it will take an offer worth €30m (£25.8m) to tempt them to sell.
They claim the Blades are determined to resist all offers that come in below that fee. That’s because former club Genk will be owed up to a 20% sell-on clause as part of the deal that took Berge to South Yorkshire.
The article claims Spurs and Liverpool are watching the situation with interest and could yet make bids of their own.
Heckingbottom comments on Berge future
Heckingbottom is adamant any move away from Bramall Lane for Berge, however, is not inevitable.
Speaking via The Star, Heckingbottom said: “Sander hasn’t spoken about the future. If he is here, that will be out of my hands.
“But I’m expecting him (to remain with United), yes. He’s contracted to us, don’t forget that, and what a player he would be to help us get back.”
The Star claim both ‘Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have been encouraged to submit bids for his services’.
He added: “It might not be up to us, what happens, and it might not even be up to him.
“What I do know, having worked with him, is that he’s a really top player and a very driven one too. Don’t be confused by his nice smile and personality. He wants to be the very best player he can be.”