Sheffield United broke their transfer record during the January transfer window when they signed Sander Berge for £22m (BBC Sport).
It was seen as quite a coup, with Berge being regarded as one of the most exciting young talents in Europe. Still only 21-years-old, the midfielder already has a lot of experience.
Berge has played more than 150 club games, including in the Champions League for former side Genk. He also has 20 caps for the Norway national team and could still help them to Euro 2020 via the playoffs.
Berge has started both Premier League games for the Blades since arriving at Bramall Lane. Both have ended in victory – against Crystal Palace and Bournemouth – and the Norwegian has impressed with his performances.
So how did United, a newly promoted team, win the race to sign Berge? Especially as the likes of West Ham United were said to be also be interested.
How Sheffield United signed Sander Berge for £22m
It seems that the South Yorkshire club being proactive was key to bringing Berge to Sheffield. While others decided to bide their time, the Blades made their move. And they were backed by owner, Prince Abdullah.
“It’s public knowledge there were other clubs interested in Sander and I think potentially we caught them on the hop,” United CEO Stephen Bettis told BBC Radio Sheffield.
“A lot of them were thinking; ‘We’ll do him in the summer when he’ll only have 12 months left on his contract.’ We went early and caught a few unexpectedly, I think, which has put us in the driving seat to make it happen.
“We had a budget for the January window, excluding Sander. The Sander opportunity happened and Prince Abdullah was extremely keen for us to pursue that and try and get it done, which fortunately we did.
“That was separate from what else we were trying to do in the window.”