Sheffield United are yet to receive a bid for high-profile central midfielder Sander Berge according to The Star, despite multiple teams reported to be interested in the Norwegian this summer.
The 23-year-old joined the Blades in January 2020 when the club were flying high in the Premier League – but United have nosedived since and finished bottom of the Premier League table last season.
With the South Yorkshire side now in the second tier, Berge is highly likely to leave this summer and former Premier League champions Arsenal are one of the sides already reported to be interested in the Norwegian central midfielder, alongside Everton and Aston Villa.
However, the £35m asking price and deal structure could be a stumbling block, with the Blades wanting the majority of the transfer fee up front.
This demand could be in place to allow manager Jokanovic to spend a chunk of the potential fee received for Berge in the summer window, as Sheffield United rebuild and prepare for life in the second tier. A report from the Sheffield Star this morning shows there could be some compromise on the structure of the deal.
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Because the Norwegian joined Sheffield United for just £22m less than 18 months ago, interested sides may still be reluctant to pay an extra £13m to acquire his services.
Talks could be set to collapse if negotiators on either side remain stubborn, with the Championship side refusing to lower their asking price as things stand.
But with John Lundstram’s departure leaving a hole in their midfield and Berge’s contract lasting until 2024, the Blades may still be reluctant to let go of their star man in the next few weeks until Jokanovic makes a few signings.
That’s unless an interested side launches the £35m bid possibly required to lure him away from Bramall Lane, although Berge’s mindset may influence his club’s negotiating tactics on a potential deal.
Teammate Aaron Ramsdale is said to be committed to the club amid top flight interest – but news is yet to surface on whether 23-year-old Berge is willing to play in the Championship or not.
If former manager Chris Wilder’s comments on his Champions League ambitions are anything to go by, the Norwegian may look to return to the top flight with a club competing at the right end of the table.
But expect this saga to drag on throughout the summer.