West Ham United tried to sign Sheffield United record £22m signing Sander Berge during the January transfer window, according to Football Insider.
Yet West Ham only offered £10m to Genk for a player who left later in the month for more than double that. Apparently the Hammers were unwilling to pay anywhere near the £22m fee the Blades eventually sanctioned.
However, the East London club did then outlay £20m-plus (BBC Sport) to Hull City for Jarrod Bowen on deadline day.
Considering they clearly had the finances it seems somewhat surprising West Ham weren’t willing to meet Berge’s asking price. Especially as the Norway international is rated as one of the most exciting young talents in Europe.
Berge may only be 21-years-old, but he already has 20 caps for his country and has played more than 150 club games.
Why Sheffield United made Berge their record signing
Chris Wilder had been keen on Berge for some time before he finally got his man. The Blades made enquiries in the summer, but the Norwegian was wary about joining a newly promoted side.
But instead of struggling in their first Premier League season in 12 years, Wilder’s team have thrived in the top flight. After Saturday’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace they sit sixth in the table.
Berge made his debut in that victory at Selhurst Park, put straight into the starting XI just two days after arriving at Bramall Lane. Many fans were impressed with his performance.
Berge was industrious in central midfield and key in breaking up the play and stopping Palace attacks. Vastly experienced at such a young age, he has already played in the Champions League as well.
The Hammers’ loss appears to be very much the Blades’ gain, with Berge already looking like a superb signing. Even if it meant breaking the transfer record.