Championship Sheffield United are staying firm with their £35m price tag for Sander Berge because they believe the Norwegian is worth every penny, according to the Sheffield Star.
The 23-year-old midfielder’s initial £45m release clause was reduced by £10m because of the Blades’ relegation from the Championship – but the current asking price is still proving to be a stumbling block for many interested sides including Arsenal who have expressed their interest.
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Triggering the Norwegian’s release clause would allow the quartet to bypass the South Yorkshire side and negotiate directly with the 23-year-old – but all four could be unwilling to pay that price with the Blades now in the Championship and the club paying £13m less than that to sign him less than 18 months ago.
After signing a four-and-a-half year-deal at Bramall Lane at the start of 2020, Berge still has three years left to go on his contract and Sheffield United may decide to play hardball with bidders who want to agree on a reduced fee, although that strategy could potentially change if Berge signals his intentions to leave this summer.
With that contract, Sheffield United are under no pressure to sell him if (and it’s a big if) Berge is happy to play in the Championship for a season. If the Norwegian is committed to the cause, players like him and England international goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale will give them a great chance of going straight back up next year.
However, former boss Chris Wilder talked about how ambitious the 23-year-old is, wanting to play Champions League in the future, and he may therefore want a move in the next few months to stop his career from potentially declining.
And if Sheffield United can make a small profit on Berge and have the chance to sell him early on this summer, they may decide to accept it and give new manager Slavisa Jokanovic the funds to shape his squad ahead of the new season.