Sheffield United receive midfielder boost after transfer deal mooted
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The Star exclusively revealed an unnamed figure, who was neither acting on behalf of United manager Paul Heckingbottom or Berge himself, contacted officials at the London Stadium last month to enquire if they were interested in signing the Norway international.
Aged 25, Berge is set to become a free agent next summer after entering the final 12 months of his agreement. Although news of the approach to David Moyes’ side will be a source of both irritation and concern for Heckingbottom, sources at United today insisted that Berge is comfortable with the position he finds himself in. The midfielder is understood to be ready to fulfil his contractual obligations before assessing the market and deciding whether or not to discuss a new deal or seek a move elsewhere.
Berge made 43 appearances in all competitions for United last term, helping them win promotion from the Championship and reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup. According to one leading group of football analysts, he made more touches in the opposition penalty area than 94 percent of other players in his position, as Heckingbottom’s squad regained Premier League status. His expected goals ratio placed him in the top 12 percent, together with his ball carrying and dribbling ability.
Together with Iliman Ndiaye, Heckingbottom has insisted it is vital Berge remains in South Yorkshire as United attempt to establish themselves at the highest level. Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has also stated he wants United to “keep” all of their most influential performers.
But there are concerns that their financial situation could force the board to consider any serious offers for Berge and Ndiaye, who is also in the closing stages of his deal, rather than risk losing them for nothing.
Heckingbottom has told his employers that is a risk worth taking given the benefits of retaining PL membership, which include enhanced parachute payments for newly promoted sides who avoid an immediate return to the second tier.