Arsenal are reportedly set to step up their pursuit of Sander Berge and test Sheffield United’s resolve with an offer for the giant midfielder.
According to Sheffield Star, Arsenal are ready to intensify their pursuit of Sander Berge by making an offer to Sheffield United. The midfielder’s future at the Bramall Lane is in doubt after the club’s relegation to the Championship, as the midfielder looks for an upgrade back into the Premier League.
Sander Berge drew plenty of interest in him during his time at Belgian club Genk. Sheffield United prised him away for a fee above £20 million. However, things have not gone to plan after enduring one of the worst performances by a team in Premier League history and subsequently getting relegated to the Championship.
Arsenal have been interested in Berge since January, as they seek reinforcements in midfield. The Gunners are somewhat short of personnel in the middle of the park, especially as the latest round of rumours rumble on.
Granit Xhaka’s future is in doubt with a move to AS Roma on the cards. Arsenal are also yet to confirm a new contract for utility midfielder Mohammed Elneny, while Dani Ceballos has already returned to Real Madrid after the expiration of his loan spell. Arsenal are linked with Ruben Neves to replace Xhaka but might also want to sign Berge.
Sheffield United are understood to demand a higher transfer fee, close to £35 million; a sum Arsenal are unwilling to pay up. Upon learning the price tag, the Gunners seemed to have cooled their interest in the Norwegian, but now they are back after Berge again, ready to test Sheffield United’s resolve with a possible offer.
Arsenal will look to negotiate his price down to what is acceptable to them. Additionally, if the player himself is interested in moving and considering Sheffield United’s possible need for funds following relegation, they could be forced into a sale.
If the two clubs cannot reach an agreement at the end of the reported talks, then Arsenal might pull the plug on any interest and move on towards other targets. There’s reported interest in Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga and Anderlecht’s 21-year-old midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Berge, though, has Premier League experience and Arsenal could certainly prefer him over the others in the defensive role. However, with strict financial control at the Emirates this summer, Arsenal will be wary of paying over the odds for a player who played only 15 times and was restricted by injuries this past season.
Arsenal’s lure and power on the negotiation table will determine the ultimate result of Berge’s chase. What now remains to be seen is if Sheffield United agree to substantially lower their asking price, even so, to take a slight loss on their initial investment in their midfielder.