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Arsenal appear to move on from Sander Berge as they bid for Lokonga

Arsenal appear to have moved on from Sander Berge in recent weeks, increasing Sheffield United’s chances of keeping the Norwegian.

Berge had emerged as one of the key targets for the Gunners. As reported by us previously, Mikel Arteta’s men have already made a £17m bid. That figure, of course, is way below United’s valuation.

The Blades midfielder has a widely-reported £35m release-clause in his contract. Further to that, it’s believed the Blades are unwilling to budge on that valuation. And with Arsenal not being flush with cash, that might be enough to put the Gunners off.

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And if United fans wanted further hope that Berge might well stay put, then recent weeks will be encouraging.

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Arsenal have, according to The Athletic, bid around £15m for Albert Lokonga. The Anderlecht star is of similar ilk to Berge, suggesting the Gunners might have moved on.

In addition, Arsenal are also said to be keen on Ruben Neves of Wolves, and Yves Bissouma of Brighton. Once again, these are two players who mirror the position of Berge. Interestingly, Neves is said to be available for around the same money as the Blades star.

With those three on the radar, as well as big money move for Ben White being touted for Arsenal, a bid for Berge is looking increasinly unlikely.

Sheffield United News View: Keeping Berge until January at least might be best for everyone

We know United won’t go turning down bids of around £30-35m. It’s just not going to happen. The club needs to bring some money in to address the deficit of relegation.

However, in terms of all parties, keeping Berge for six months could be ideal. And not just for United.

For a start, Berge needs a run of games. Without being harsh, he’s hardly had a run where everyone has thought we have a world-class player on our hands. Sure, he has done well in spurts and been unlucky with injury and the Covid situation.

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But if someone is going to spend on Berge, they’ll want to know he’s over his latest injury worries. And if that means United getting 5-6 months of him at Championship level, it could be ideal.

Berge is probably too good for that level. But proving it will only benefit him. While for the club, it will ensure we do indeed get the full value for a player we invested heavily in.

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