Paul Heckingbottom says he’s “expecting” Sander Berge to remain as a Sheffield United player next season.
Berge has been strongly linked with an exit from Bramall Lane since the club’s relegation from the Premier League was confirmed.
Big sides from the division such as Liverpool and Manchester City are among those said to be interested in the midfielder.
Yet Heckingbottom claims Berge could be staying to play in the Championship.
“Sander hasn’t spoken about the future. If he is here, that will be out of my hands,” United’s caretaker manager told The Sheffield Star.
“But I’m expecting him (to remain with United), yes.
“He’s contracted to us, don’t forget that, and what a player he would be to help us get back.”
Why Sander Berge will probably leave Sheffield United
Heckingbottom does go on to provide a slightly more cryptic update, claiming the future of Berge “might not even be up to him”.
It would certainly be a surprise if the Blades board turned down the reported £35m asking price for the Norway international.
Berge was signed from Genk in a then club record £22m deal in January 2019.
Yet it seems the United hierarchy believe they can receive far higher than that to sell the 23-year-old.
Which is why Berge remaining in South Yorkshire next term seems highly unlikely.
Especially as the club are said to be targeting £40m in player sales this summer.
With the figures being quoted, the Blades could recoup the vast majority of that by only selling Berge.
The majority of the rest of the squad could then be kept together. Which is something former boss Chris Wilder says is vital.
Plus, with the supposed interest being shown in him, Berge surely sees his immediate future at a higher level than the second tier of English football.