Genk midfielder Sander Berge has explained why he chose not to join Sheffield United.
Belgian newspaper Het Laaste Niuews reports that the Blades were the only club to make a “concrete offer” for Berge this summer.
The 21-year-old is valued at around £23m by his current side. This put several interested parties off, with the only bid that even came close to that coming from Bramall Lane.
However, Berge had no intention of joining a team newly promoted to the Premier League. Instead the Norway international remains at Genk – who are getting ready to play in the Champions League this season.
And Berge told Het Belang van Limburg why he decided to stay put.
“I have not talked to any clubs myself; I appeal to others for that. In any case, there was never a proposal which I thought was the right one for my future,” the youngster said.
“I don’t just want to change clubs for the sake of it. In life, you sometimes have to appreciate what you have in your hands at that moment. I’m at a top club, I’ve become a champion, I’ve enforced a leadership role. I have plenty of time to aim even higher.”
Why Sheffield United wanted Sander Berge
The Blades have spent close to £50m on new signings this summer after earning promotion from the Championship. Ten new players were brought into the club ahead of their first top flight campaign in 12 years.
One of the positions manager Chris Wilder was targeting for recruitment was defensive midfield.
This is the role that Berge occupies and has done to great effect since joining Genk two-and-a-half years ago. Prior to that the Norwegian was in his home country with Asker and then Valerenga.
Yet when Berge made it clear he would not be coming to South Yorkshire, Wilder instead turned to Muhamed Besic. The Bosnia and Herzegovina international joined on loan from Everton on transfer deadline day.