Aston Villa have reportedly emerged as the first favorites to sign Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge this summer.
The Norwegian international is the signing of the Blades club record. He joined Belgian club Genk in January 2020 for £ 22million.
But with the Yorkshire club at the bottom of the Premier League and relegation to the league seemingly inevitable, Berge could leave Bramall Lane at the end of the season.
In front of the queue to secure its services is Villa, according to Eurosport.
The 23-year-old has been a regular starter since moving to England but has been sidelined since December with tendon surgery on his leg.
He is due back at the end of March. But even his influence won’t be enough to save United, resigned to relegation for a while.
They had the worst start to a season in the history of top-level English football, scoring just one point in their first 13 games. That more or less doomed them to a return to second place after about a third of the season.
The loss of Premier League football would almost certainly see Berge leave the club. A number of sides are showing interest as well as Villa.
He already has 24 caps for his country. As a 6’5 ”defensive midfielder, he is a unique and promising prospect for any team to have at their disposal.
Villa recently strengthened his midfielder, signing of Morgan Sanson from Marseille in the winter transfer window. They also have Douglas Luiz, John McGinn, and Marvelous Nakamba as central options.
With Berge’s contract running through the summer of 2024 and a potential transfer war that ensues, it could take a hefty fee to secure the deal on the line this summer.
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Arsenal could rekindle interest
One of the clubs that Villa could compete with is Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.
Reports in his native Norway last November claimed that the north side of London kept a close watch on Berge.
They would have been particularly enthusiastic before he moved to Sheffield.
Arteta’s deputy manager at Arsenal Albert Stuivenberg coached Berge when he was in charge at Genk in 2017.
The Spaniard denied any interest at the time, but with Berge likely up for grabs again in a few months, he will no doubt be considering a further move.
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