The future of Sander Berge is something that will likely dominate the next week few weeks and months for Sheffield United supporters.
Berge is widely expected to leave Bramall Lane. Despite being injured for much of the campaign, he is regarded as United’s best player and most saleable asset.
The Athletic has claimed the club needs to find around £40m to cover the shortfalls of relegation. If rumours are to be believed, United will demand nearly all of that fee to sell Berge. Some outlets have stated the Blades could demand up to £35m from the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool for the big Norwegian.
What is in United’s favour at the moment is Berge’s lack of game time. He’s not exactly getting the chance to shine, while the nature of his injury might mean clubs await proof of his return to full fitness. Of course, that could come before the end of the Premier League season.
But should Berge make the decision to stay (he’s shown no eagerness as yet to be on his way), then where will United make their money? Beyond the £22m January 2020 signing, the Blades have a few options.
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Sander Berge future uncertain but United have other assets
Having Sander Berge in the Championship would be quite the boost. He oozes class and at that level, would be a dominant force.
Should he stay, then, United will need to sell other players. And despite the lack of quality at times this season, the Blades do have some players in the squad who could fetch a bit of cash.
The obvious names are the likes of John Egan and George Baldock. Both consistent at PL level, and both capable of doing a job should a team want them.
Everton have previously expressed an interest in Egan. Celtic, meanwhile, have admired Baldock from afar for some time. Selling just those two, would likely cover the £40m, albeit at a detriment to the first XI.
John Fleck had admirers at Arsenal last season. However, a niggling season of injuries and loss of form means Fleck will likely stay put.
Lys Mousset is another who could be sold. United paid around £10m for the Frenchman and while they’d probably not get that now, he could be moved on somewhere. Oli McBurnie, meanwhile, is said to be interesting Wolves, who could pay up to £15m for the Scotland striker.
Aaron Ramsdale is someone who has impressed in recent months. He only moved to Bramall Lane last summer but after suffering a second consecutive relegation, he could fancy another crack at the PL. Oliver Burke is another summer signing who has failed to impress and could bring a few quid in.
Finally, Jack O’Connell is probably United’s best defender. But his lack of fitness and the nature of his injury means he might never be the same again. It would be surprising to see JoC leave, just on that basis.