Aston Villa are eyeing a summer move for Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge, although they are set to face significant transfer competition for him.
Reports from Eurosport in recent weeks suggested that Villa are one of the clubs keeping a keen eye on Berge’s situation with the Blades, with Paul Heckingbottom’s side having their relegation from the Premier League confirmed in recent weeks.
The Athletic have now claimed that, along with Dean Smith’s side, both Arsenal and Tottenham are also “following matters closely”, although it’s suggested that the Blades “would dearly like to keep their record signing”.
With the Blades having been relegated, Villa are in a real position of strength when it comes to signing Berge, with the Yorkshire club now more likely to cash in on a player with real Premier League quality and potential – something their former boss Chris Wilder was quick to hail.
He said: “Sander has been unique. He is the one who has stood out for us. He is a complete midfielder. He can play as 8s and as 6s. He can play in different formations. The wonderful thing about Sander is his attitude.
“Complete midfielders are like that. Look at Jordan Henderson (FWA’s Footballer of the Year last season). Sander should gain enormous confidence that he can play so well in various positions in the Premier League.”
Albert Stuivenberg, Mikel Arteta’s assistant at Arsenal, said about the £35m-rated ace: “He is already very mature. He is intelligent, reads the game well, and takes the initiative. He has the potential to become a future leader.”
While it is unknown what price the Blades will demand, their relegation should mean they won’t be able to command the kind of fee they would have expected for him had they stayed up.
Johan Lange could really strike gold for Villa by signing Berge this summer.