Arsenal and Liverpool have reportedly been told that they will need to shell out £35 million to secure the signing of Sander Berge from Sheffield United.
According to a report from the Sheffield Star, Premier League strugglers Sheffield United have made it clear that they will not lower their £35 million asking price for star midfielder Sander Berge, who is a transfer target for Arsenal and Liverpool.
Having spent the formative years of his career in his homeland, Norway, Berge burst onto the senior footballing scenes at Belgian outfit KRC Genk. The midfielder made his way to England in January last year, signing for Sheffield United in a then club-record transfer.
Berge went on to become a regular in the starting XI for Blades and did considerably well for them despite their struggles since Project Restart last year. The 23-year-old had managed a goal and an assist from 13 appearances before an injury sidelined him in December.
However, his future at Bramall Lane has been called into question as Sheffield United stare at the prospect of relegation from the Premier League. Should they go down to the second tier, which is looking increasingly likely with each passing week, the Blades will need to make cuts to their squad, with Berge likely to be offloaded.
The Norwegian international’s situation has led to serious interest from a number of clubs in the Premier League including Liverpool and Arsenal.
Liverpool’s need for a new central midfielder rises due to the uncertain future of mainstay Georginio Wijnaldum. The Netherlands international is in the final few months of his contract with the reigning Premier League champions and has his heart set on a summer transfer to Barcelona, which would leave a huge hole in midfield for Liverpool.
Add to it, the injury troubles of Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner’s age, someone like Berge could prove to be a vital addition to Jurgen Klopp’s midfield unit. However, they will face competition from Arsenal, who are in search of a midfield partner for summer signing Thomas Partey.
Granit Xhaka has done well in spurts but isn’t consistent enough while Mohamed Elneny does not possess the quality to start week in week out either. And with Dani Ceballos’ loan spell coming to an end, a new central midfielder becomes a necessary addition for Mikel Arteta’s Gunners, making Berge a viable target.
It had been earlier reported that the 23-year-old could be available for a transfer fee of around £28 million. However, as per the aforementioned report, Sheffield United are set to demand at least £35 million for the midfielder’s services and will not change their stance on the matter.
Apart from Liverpool and Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur are also looking at Berge as a summer transfer target. It now remains to be seen if any of the clubs are willing to meet Sheffield United’s asking price for the Norwegian ace come the end of the season.