Sander Berge: Interest intensifies as the Sheffield United midfielder's asking price is confirmed

Arsenal are being encouraged to consolidate their interest in Sander Berge, the Sheffield United midfielder, after being privately informed of his asking price.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 12:58 pm

As The Star reported earlier this year, United will demand at least £35m for Berge, who is expected to depart after less than 18 months in South Yorkshire following their relegation from the Premier League.

Officials at Bramall Lane effectively confirmed the validity of that story by during a ‘no names no pack’ briefing on the Norway international’s future with a handpicked selection of journalists earlier this week; suggesting a release clause, exactly matching that amount, was inserted into the contract which saw him arrive from Genk in January last year.

Speaking soon after United officially surrendered their top-flight status, nearly two seasons after being promoted under former manager Chris Wilder, caretaker Paul Heckingbottom insisted he expected Berge to remain at the club because his deal does not expire until the summer of 2024.

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However, after publicly revealing his desire to play Champions League football again having represented the Belgians in the competition, Berge clearly views his spell with United as a potential stepping stone to bigger things. Convinced they can receive a healthy return on their investment, that suits those responsible for helping United negotiate safe passage through the financial chaos wreaked by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although Arsenal have begun compiling a scouring dossier on Berge, sources within the game have told this website that officials at the Emirates Stadium and their counterparts at north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur were both informed of United’s valuation soon after the winter transfer window closed.

Even by then, United had already resigned themselves to playing Championship football next term after failing to win a game until January’s FA Cup victory over Bristol Rovers. They travel to Everton on Sunday searching for only their ninth victory since then, and nine points adrift at the bottom of the table.

Now recovered from the serious hamstring injury he sustained during December’s home defeat by Manchester United, berge is expected to feature at Goodison Park after starting last weekend’s 2-0 defeat by Crystal Palace.

Sander Berge is expected to leave Sheffield United this summer: Simon Bellis/ Sportimage

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Sander Berge made his first start since injury against Crystal Palace: Simon Bellis/ Sportimage