Sheffield United: Boss's intriguing statement could complicate hopes of keeping Sander Berge at Bramall Lane

Sheffield United’s hopes of holding on to star man Sander Berge this summer may have been complicated after the Norwegian’s international boss reminded him: “You are too good for the Championship”.

Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 3:58 pm

The midfielder, who became United’s record signing when he made a £22m move from Genk two years ago, was a key man in United’s run to the Championship play-offs last season as the Blades overcame a dreadful start to the campaign to come within a penalty shootout of reaching the Wembley final.

But with United consigned to another year of Championship football with defeat to eventual play-off winners Nottingham Forest, Berge’s future will again come under scrutiny ahead of the new season kick-off on July 30.

The release cause in Berge’s contract, understood to be at the £35m mark, remains in place, meaning any club can speak to the Norwegian by submitting an offer at that level.

But that doesn’t mean United – facing up to another season in the second tier after relegation from the Premier League – wouldn’t consider offers below that mark, and The Star understands that an offer around £10m lower than the release clause would be strongly considered by Bramall Lane officials.

Speaking on international duty, Norway chief Ståle Solbakken told TV 2: “I think it would be good for him [Berge] to be aware that he does not belong to the Championship anymore now that he has his physique and match fitness back.

“I hope I won’t receive any phone calls from Sheffield United now.”

A fan takes a selfie with Sander Berge of Sheffield United: Darren Staples / Sportimage

Asked for his reaction to his manager’s comments, Berge said: “I don’t want to share my thoughts about my future now, as we stand in front of four big games. My agents and my club will deal with it.

"I have had a nice development in Sheffield United lately. I have come back where I am. We will see what the future brings.”

Berge is under contract at Bramall Lane until 2024, and playing in the Championship has not harmed his international prospects after being called up to Solbakken’s squad for the Nations League clashes with Serbia, Sweden and Slovenia over the summer.