Arsenal now look to be the favourites to sign Sander Berge from Sheffield United this summer.
Berge is being strongly linked with an exit from Bramall Lane following the Blades’ relegation from the Premier League.
Several top flight sides from England and abroad are apparently showing interest in the midfielder.
Yet the Gunners believe they have a “secret weapon” when it comes to winning the race for Berge.
According to football.london, the Norway international is keen on linking up with fellow countryman, Martin Odegaard, in North London.
Odegaard spoke with Berge before making his loan move to the Emirates Stadium from Real Madrid in January.
It’s not known yet whether that switch will be made permanent.
Will Arsenal sign Sander Berge?
Berge is also thought to be keen on joining the Gunners, who are using the 23-year-old as a case study for a restructure of their recruitment process.
Technical director Edu asked scouting applicants to provide detailed case studies on the Norwegian and Joe Willock – who is on loan at Newcastle United from Arsenal.
It suggests Berge is a key target as Mikel Arteta looks to shake up his midfield.
While Odegaard could still sign permanently, Dani Cabellos is set to return to Madrid once his loan spell ends. The futures of several other midfielders – including Willock – is still undecided.
However, Berge isn’t the only player they’re targeting. Brighton & Hove Albion’s Yves Bissouma is also thought to be of interest.
Berge looks almost certain to leave the Blades this summer and has a £35m release clause.