Sander Berge expected to remain at Sheffield United beyond transfer deadline after testing positive for Covid-19

Sander Berge appears set to remain a Sheffield United player past Tuesday evening’s transfer deadline after the Blades’ record signing tested positive for Covid-19 over the weekend.

Monday, 30th August 2021, 11:44 am
Sander Berge has tested positive for Covid-19: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Berge, who played 90 minutes for the Blades in their goalless draw away at Luton on Saturday evening, tested positive ahead of joining up with his Norway teammates for their games over the international break.

After a lateral flow test showed a positive result, Berge was isolated in his hotel room before a PCR test also returned a positive result. Berge, who is fully vaccinated and is asymptomatic, will now self-isolate for 10 days – which will only end a few days before United’s next Championship clash, at home to Peterborough United.

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In the meantime, any chances of Berge moving away from Bramall Lane before Tuesday’s deadline now appear slim. The midfielder has been linked with a transfer all summer and if any of his potential suitors, including Arsenal and Napoli, did make a late move in this window, he would be unable to complete the necessary medical tests after being confined to isolation.

“He [Berge] is fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, and fortunately feels completely healthy,” a statement from the Norwegian FA read.

“Doctor Ola Sand has carried out infection detection. Everyone who is considered close contacts before attending the player hotel is informed. The squad continues to monitor infection control measures in accordance with UEFA's protocol.”

Norway are scheduled to face the Netherlands, Latvia and Gibraltar in their World Cup qualifiers over the international break, but will now do so without the services of Berge.

“The situation is under control,” Sand added. “We were prepared for this to happen due to the contagion situation in Europe. It is of course disappointing for the national team and not least for Sander himself.”

Berge was widely expected to leave Bramall Lane this summer following United’s relegation from the Premier League last season, but none of his suitors have yet signalled a desire to meet his £35m release clause and he has started every one of United’s games so far in the Championship. After five games, the Blades are second bottom of the table with just two points to their name.