Sheffield United: Napoli draw their own battle lines in the tussle for Sander Berge

Napoli are refusing to increase their offer for Sander Berge, believing Sheffield United will eventually be forced to accept less than their £35m asking price if the midfielder is still at Bramall Lane towards the end of the transfer window.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 5:00 am

With Arsenal also unwilling to meet United’s valuation of a player they signed for £22m a year-and-a-half ago. The Italians believe they are now in pole position to push through a deal before this summer’s deadline.

Although United want to sell Berge after being relegated from the Premier League last season - partly because of the player’s desire to compete in Europe again and also out of financial necessity - they remain adamant that anyone wanting to acquire the Norway international’s services must trigger the buy-out clause they inserted into the long-term contract he signed following his move from Genk in January 2020.

But Napoli, who were also interested in Berge before his switch to England, are prepared to test United’s resolve by continuing to register their interest without actually upping their bid. Although unofficial at this stage, that is thought to be somewhere in the region of £15m.

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Crystal Palace's Serbian midfielder Luka Milivojevic (R) vies for the ball against Sheffield United's Norwegian midfielder Sander Berge (L): RUI VIEIRA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Crystal Palace's Serbian midfielder Luka Milivojevic (R) vies for the ball against Sheffield United's Norwegian midfielder Sander Berge (L): RUI VIEIRA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Arsenal, who also want to explore the possibility of luring United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsfale to north London, were invited to make an approach for Berge earlier this year after being approached by an intermediary granted permission to act on the South Yorkshire club’s behalf.

Slavisa Jokanovic who officially takes charge of United tomorrow, has been kept abreast of the situation as he prepares to make his return to England having previously led both Watford and Fulham out of the Championship.