Racing Genk midfielder Sander Berge has rejected a move to Sheffield United, reports Belgian newspaper HLN.
Apparently the Blades made an official bid for Berge, although for how much is unclear. However, Genk value the 21-year-old at £22.5m.
Berge is open to a move to the Premier League, but is aiming his sights higher than a recently promoted club. United are preparing for their first season in the top flight in 12 years after finishing second in the Championship in 2018/19.
It’s said that Berge thanked the South Yorkshire side for their approach, but that he will not be making the switch to Bramall Lane.
According to Norwegian outlet VG, both Sevilla and Tottenham Hotspur have previously shown interest in the Norway international. Brighton and Hove Albion have also been linked.
Why would the Blades target Sander Berge?
United are still lacking personnel in central midfield following their return to England’s top tier. Currently their only natural options in the middle are John Fleck, Oliver Norwood and John Lundstram.
Paul Coutts has joined Fleetwood Town on a free transfer, while Samir Carruthers remains on the transfer list.
New signing Luke Freeman can operate in a deeper position, but is generally considered more of an attacking outlet.
Berge, meanwhile, is a defensively-minded midfielder. This could have made the Norwegian a hugely useful asset to manager Chris Wilder.
Wilder plays a unique 3-4-1-2 formation which allows the centre-backs to break forwards in attack. This system requires a firm understanding from all players and often midfielders will need to drop into defence as cover.
This would be a far more easy task for someone like Berge than, say, Freeman.
While it seems the Genk ace views his immediate future away from Sheffield, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Blades targeted a similar player before the transfer window shuts.