Sander Berge: Sheffield United refuse to budge on star midfielder's transfer valuation
Sheffield United are refusing to lower their valuation of Sander Berge despite being relegated from the Premier League last season.
As The Star revealed last month, United will demand at least £35m for the Norway international, who is expected to leave Bramall Lane only a year-and-a-half after arriving from Genk.
Arsenal are known to be interested in Berge, while their north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur were also invited to consider making a bid for the midfielder before Jose Mourinho’s departure.
Although officials at the Emirates Stadium will attempt to lure them to the negotiating table, United have used a back channel to warn them they have no intention of lowering their asking price for a player who cost £22m 16 months ago. Indeed, rather than weakening their position, United believe the fact Berge is now acclimatised to English football has strengthened their hand. They have also reminded their counterparts in the capital that the fee they paid to acquire Berge was not a reflection of his true worth, because he had entered the closing stages of his contract at the Cristal Arena.
Berge’s deal with United has another three seasons left to run, which should also work in their favour should Arsenal decide to submit an approach.
Having confirmed Slavisa Jokanovic will become their new manager when his deal with Qatari club Al-Gharafa expires on June 30, United are expected to make midfield a top priority when the transfer window reopens shortly, with John Lundstram also preparing to move on.
Although he has reassured his present employers he will not become actively involved with United until then, Jokanovic discussed targets and game plans with owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during a meeting in Geneva on Thursday morning.
In turn, the Saudi Arabian used that to bring Jokanovic up to speed with Berge’s situation.
Oli McBurnie, the United centre-forward, is the subject of interest from Scottish Premiership champions Rangers while Wolverhampton Wanderers have also been linked with the former Swansea City marksman. However, it remains unclear if Nuno Espirito Santo’s recent departure will alter their stance.