Premier League sides Arsenal and Newcastle United and Serie A outfit Napoli have taken their attention away from Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge and are now focusing on other targets, according to a report from The Star.
The 24-year-old was one of the most tracked players in the Championship last summer following the Blades’ relegation from the second tier, with the Norwegian and shot-stopper Aaron Ramsdale both heavily linked with moves away from Bramall Lane.
Berge was the subject of intense interest from sides in the English and Italian top tiers, with the Gunners, Aston Villa, Everton, Atalanta, Lazio and Napoli all linked with a move for the midfielder during that window.
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The Magpies joined the race later on in the year following their takeover – but as of yet – no side has been willing to meet Berge’s £35m release clause with the Blades’ coaching staff desperate to retain him once again this summer.
Ramsdale, however, did manage to secure a move away last year as he joined Mikel Arteta’s side for a deal believed to be worth up to £30m and has gone on to thrive during his first season at the Emirates Stadium.
It doesn’t look as though the Gunners will be making a similar move for Berge this summer though and neither will Eddie Howe’s side or Napoli, with the latter already recruiting Fulham’s Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa on a permanent deal.
It’s no real surprise to see the trio pull out of the race considering the fact he spent some of the season out injured, with multiple setbacks proving to be a hindrance to his progress and he looks to push on to greater things in the coming years.
When he has played though, he’s shown real quality and if he can get a full season of football under his belt next season without a major injury problem, he is likely to secure a move to the top tier regardless of whether the Blades are promoted or not.
Next season, he could have a very important role to play in advanced midfield in the absence of Morgan Gibbs-White, who doesn’t look likely to return considering United are still in the second tier and other sides including Nottingham Forest and Southampton have taken an interest in the 22-year-old.
At 24 though, Berge will want to move on sooner rather than later and that is why it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see him try and push for a move if a formal offer does come in for him, because he should be plying his trade at a higher level based on his quality.
Football League World understands that interest in the Norwegian has dried up at this stage though, a real boost for the Blades but not exactly a positive for the 24-year-old who will be keen to impress next term regardless of whether he’s still at Bramall Lane or not.