Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge has been described as ‘keen’ to join Arsenal ahead of next season and particularly wants to link up with international colleague Martin Odegaard, who is currently on loan at the Gunners from Real Madrid.
Arsenal are one of several clubs showing interest in Berge, who is now back in action following a lengthy injury layoff that saw him miss more than four months of the campaign. His absence hindered an already struggling Blades team and he is generally seen as a talented prospect.
Having initially been scouted by Manchester United while at Genk, where he played Champions League football, Berge joined Sheffield United for a club record £22m in January 2020.
A release clause set at £45m has fallen to £35m as a result of Sheffield United’s relegation, capping his price. Rumours of a £12m release clause that had emerged this week are not true and were the work of an Italian Twitter account misunderstanding an earlier report from Sky Sports.
According to Football London, Berge is very interested in the idea of joining Arsenal, with the report citing a source close to the 23-year-old claiming there is a ‘high possibility’ it could happen.
One plus for Berge could be the presence of assistant manager Albert Stuivenberg, who has worked with the player before when he was manager of Genk in 2017.
However, any move to north London is likely to hinge on the aforementioned Odegaard. Berge and Odegaard, who are a similar age, are close friends and are thought to regular exchanges messages between themselves and fellow Norway international Erling Haaland.
Manager Mikel Arteta has already stated his desire to keep Odegaard at the club if a deal can be done – the attacking midfielder has been a regular starter since his January arrival.
Football London adds that Odegaard has told people close to him that he wishes to stay, having been impressed by Arteta and feeling ‘highly valued’ as part of the Arsenal squad.