Sander Berge: State of play on Sheffield United midfielder saga as Napoli join Arsenal in chase for star
Napoli could resurrect their interest in Sander Berge this summer after media reports in Italy suggested that the Blues are monitoring the Sheffield United midfielder.
Berge is widely expected to leave Bramall Lane this summer after the Blades’ relegation to the Championship, and United’s hierarchy are so far refusing to budge on their £35m valuation of a player they signed from Genk for £22m.
That fee was partly reduced because Berge told Genk he would not renew his contract, and United now believe the player to be worth almost double as he has acclimatised to English football.
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Arsenal were previously seen as the frontrunners to sign Berge, having opened lines of communication with Bramall Lane via an intermediary. They have so far baulked at United’s valuation and, according to reports of Napoli’s interest from La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian side are reluctant to pay £35m for the midfielder too.
Napoli looked at Berge before he moved to England and the report also credits them with an interest in Bordeaux’s Toma Basic and Morten Thorsby of Sampdoria.
Although United have refused to lower their valuation of Berge, The Star revealed recently that they may reconsider the specifics of any potential deal with the Gunners after initially demanding that the terms, of payment schedules and other clauses, were loaded in their favour.
Arsenal, like most clubs, would prefer to spread the payments over the length of Berge’s contract if he is indeed unveiled at the Emirates. But United, conscious of the need to hand new boss Slavisa Jokanović sufficient funds to facilitate a promotion push at the first attempt, have so far stood firm.