Sheffield United: The Blades could face a difficult call on Sander Berge next week
After stressing Sander Berge’s absence from Sheffield United’s friendly against Europa Point should be attributed to injury rather than the uncertainty surrounding his future in South Yorkshire, new manager Slavisa Jokanovic must now decide whether to select the midfielder for next week’s visit to Doncaster Rovers or again leave him on the sidelines.
The situation, with United privately willing to listen to offers for Berge after being relegated from the Premier League, has been further complicated by the fact United’s squad have spent the past week under extreme social distancing restrictions after two cases if Covid-19 were identified.
Although Jokanovic had hoped to field Berge during Wednesday’s trip to the Keepmoat Stadium - providing he was passed fit by the club’s medical staff - the alterations to United’s training schedule has now thrown that plan into doubt.
Three days after making the short journey up the M18, they complete their preparations for the new Championship season with a home game against Norwich City.
United must perform a delicate balancing act with Berge this summer; doing enough to prove he is fully recovered from the hamstring complaint which forced him to miss long periods of last season whilst also ensuring he is in the best possible shape should he remain at Bramall Lane.
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Napoli, Lazio and Atalanta are all monitoring his situation at United closely. And all of them are prepared to use his recent fitness issues as a lever to try and drive down United’s £35m asking price.