Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge ‘targeted by Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa’

Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge ‘targeted by Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa’ with in-demand star’s release clause ‘dropping to £35m’ after Blades’ top-flight relegation

  • A number of Premier League clubs are keen on Sheffield United’s Sander Berge 
  • Berge has caught the eye this season and his release clause stands at £35million 
  • Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa have all been tipped to attempts swoops soon 
  • United will struggle to keep Berge after his price dropped following relegation 

A host of Premier League clubs are eyeing up a swoop for highly-rated Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge, according to reports.

The 23-year-old has been absent through injury since the turn of the year but has managed to catch the eye – and his release clause now stands at £35million, a drop of £10m as a result of United’s relegation to the Championship.

Berge’s reasonable price tag, which has been revealed by Yorkshire Live, may spark a bidding war this summer with Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa among the teams who might make a move.

Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge’s release clause is £35m as a number of clubs circle

It was initially reported by Sky Sports on Friday that Berge, who returned to action last weekend after a four-month spell on the treatment table, is in demand. 

Mikel Arteta has been touted to reinforce his Arsenal squad during the transfer window with the midfield a particular area potentially identified for improvement.

Villa, meanwhile, have been labelled as ‘long-term suitors’ for Berge. Everton could also lodge an offer. 

Berge may attract a bidding war this summer and the midfielder looks set to exit Bramall Lane

Berge may attract a bidding war this summer and the midfielder looks set to exit Bramall Lane

It is likely United will struggle to keep Berge beyond this ill-fated campaign despite their wish to have a crack at immediate promotion with roughly the same team.

The Bramall Lane outfit will not be able to command an exorbitant figure for him, however, with the release clause leaving them vulnerable. 

Yorkshire Live also say that Berge has not actively pushed for a move away but his future, in comparison to some of his team-mates, is in doubt.

The versatile former Genk man, who is capable of playing all manner of midfield roles, arrived last January for £22m.

Mikel Arteta could swoop for Berge to strengthen his midfield at Arsenal

Carlo Ancelotti's Everton have also recently been touted to try and sign Berge

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta (left) and Everton’s Carlo Ancelotti (right) may both swoop for Berge

Berge was introduced off the bench in the chastening 4-0 defeat at Tottenham last weekend but is now in line to make his first start after recovering from injury against Crystal Palace today.

Sky have claimed that Berge is a popular figure at the club and content there, but the Norway international believes his future lies away from the strugglers.

Also linked to Berge are, sensationally, Manchester City and Liverpool.

Berge caught the eye despite having been ruled out through injury since the turn of the year

Berge caught the eye despite having been ruled out through injury since the turn of the year

The two heavyweights are reportedly ready to make a surprise move for him, with City having identified him as a potential replacement for Fernandinho, according to Voetbal24 in Belgium.

City’s veteran captain, 35, may leave the Etihad when his deal runs down.

As for Liverpool, Eurosport say they are weighing up a switch for Berge as the club look to also add to their options in midfield.

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Harry Kane: Tottenham DON’T need Champions League football to keep star striker, says Ryan Mason

Tottenham DON’T need Champions League football to keep Harry Kane at the club, insists interim boss Ryan Mason and says he won’t hold talks with the striker over his future despite hinting he could leave this summer

  • Spurs caretaker boss Ryan Mason believes Harry Kane could stay at the club 
  • He feels Tottenham don’t need to secure a top four finish to keep hold of him  
  • Mason hailed Kane as a ‘constant professional’ who ‘loves this football club’
  • This week the forward hinted he could leave and wanted to win ‘team trophies’ 

Ryan Mason insists Tottenham and Harry Kane’s sole focus is on Sunday’s visit of Sheffield United and not his future.

Striker Kane was named Premier League player of the year at this week’s 2021 London Football Awards.

But, just a few days after Spurs were beaten in the Carabao Cup final by Manchester City, Kane admitted the individual award was ‘bittersweet’ as his aim right now is to win team trophies.

Ryan Mason insists top four is not a must in order to keep Harry Kane at the club this summer

Qualifying for the Champions League is also likely to be pivotal to any decision Kane makes regarding his future, with a top four finish Spurs’s remaining target between now and the end of the season. 

They have five games left, are seventh and five points of current occupiers of fourth place Chelsea. 

Interim manager Mason said: ‘There hasn’t been and won’t be any conversations with me and him [Kane] regarding anything apart from either the training day or the match ahead.

Mason called Kane a 'constant professional' and said he wouldn't hold talks over his future

Mason called Kane a ‘constant professional’ and said he wouldn’t hold talks over his future

‘He is one of the most professional guys I’ve ever met in my life so Harry Kane has been training excellent this week. Will be training excellent tomorrow. I know that and he will be ready for the weekend. 

When asked if Spurs needed Champions League football to keep Kane, Mason said: ‘I don’t think so. Harry Kane loves this football club and that’s been proven over the last seven, eight years. He’s one of the best strikers in the world.

‘Everyone know that, we know that and I would like to think Harry knows that as well. But the most important thing and our attention in our minds is on this weekend.

‘We can’t disrespect any opponent. We can’t be investing energy in anything else and that’s all I have to say on the matter. My attention, Harry’s attention, the whole group, the whole football club is this Sunday.’

Kane is still reeling from the Carabao Cup final after Spurs failed to end their trophy drought

Kane is still reeling from the Carabao Cup final after Spurs failed to end their trophy drought

‘Our season isn’t over. We can still make it a good season. We’ve got five massive games for this football club and the group know that, we know that.

‘Our focus is on Sunday. We’re not thinking it’s a disappointing season because this season isn’t finished for this season and that needs to be the mentality for the group.

‘It is the mentality for the group so we will go into the game on Sunday and we know and realise it’s a big game.’

Speaking after winning his player of the year award, Kane dropped a huge hint he could quit his boyhood club this summer.

‘Individual awards are great, they are fantastic achievements,’ he said.

The forward has dropped the biggest hint yet that he could quit the club to win 'team trophies'

The forward has dropped the biggest hint yet that he could quit the club to win ‘team trophies’

‘When I look back at the end of my career, I will go over it and take in a little bit more. The goal right now as a player is to win team trophies. As much as this [award] is great, I want to be winning the biggest prizes that there is to offer as a team and we are not quite doing that. 

‘It is one of those [situations], it is bittersweet. I would rather be winning team trophies and this award. It is what it is.’

Tottenham face a number of challenges ahead of next season – not only will they face a battle to convince Kane to stay put, but their managerial options to take over from Jose Mourinho are dwindling. 

Top target Julian Nagelsmann has gone to Bayern Munich, while Brendan Rodgers has reaffirmed his commitment to Leicester City and Ajax boss Erik ten Hag signed a new one-year deal with the Eredivisie side on Friday.

Mason defended his Spurs players after criticism of their display in their cup final loss to City

The team were heavily criticised for the manner in which they lost their cup final against City last week, but Mason has leapt to the defence of his players.

‘Everyone’s entitled to an opinion,’ he added. ‘From my point of view, the first half – yeah, it was difficult. We rode our luck a little bit. But if you watch the game and you analyse it – the second half, it was a different game. They didn’t really create much, they scored from a set-piece.

‘We didn’t have many shots on target but the way we approached the game, the belief we had… we started to get a bit more control in the game. There was lots of positives to take from the second half and we’ve had a week to work on different aspects of our game. It’s been a positive week for us after a disappointing result.’ 

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Brighton aren’t counting their chickens yet after 1-0 defeat by Championship-bound Sheffield United

Brighton aren’t counting their chickens yet as Graham Potter insists the gap between them and their relegation rivals is not sufficient after 1-0 defeat at Championship-bound Sheffield United

  • Brighton were beaten 1-0 by Championship-bound Sheffield United on Saturday
  • The Seagulls are winless against the four teams below them this season 
  • Graham Potter insisted they are not yet safe from relegation to the second tier 

If Brighton stay up, they will have obliterated the notion that a successful relegation fight is dependent upon positive results against one’s direct rivals. 

An early strike from David McGoldrick delivered not only a first victory for Championship-bound Sheffield United under interim boss Paul Heckingbottom but left Brighton winless in the eight fixtures involving the four clubs below them in the table at kick-off on Saturday.

For Graham Potter this was a second painful stumble in days, after he scarred his face falling on to some seaside railings, and he insists that a seven-point buffer to the drop zone with five matches left is not sufficient.

Graham Potter insisted the gap between them and their rivals is not yet sufficient

Brighton are winless in their eight fixtures involving the clubs below them in the table

Brighton are winless in their eight fixtures involving the clubs below them in the table

‘It doesn’t feel comfortable to me. We need more points, it is as simple as that,’ Potter said.

‘We are doing some things right because we collected the points we have somewhere.

‘But look at recent results. West Brom beat Chelsea – in this league there is so much quality and if you are not on it, teams can hurt you, score and take the points. You have to respect that.

David McGoldrick's goal gave Paul Heckingbottom his first win in charge of the Blades

David McGoldrick’s goal gave Paul Heckingbottom his first win in charge of the Blades

‘Every game that we play we demonstrate we should be competitive. Equally you can lose, and that is the beauty of the league. It’s why it’s the best league in the world.’

That McGoldrick’s seventh of the season was enough for a fifth win for rock-bottom United had a lot to do with Neal Maupay’s late miss from a couple of yards out.

But Heckingbottom credited the fight shown by a group whose relegation was sealed last week. He said: ‘Everyone can still see what it means to the players to be in the Premier League. This result will be big for lots of people connected with the club, so I am delighted, and we want to make the most of these last five games.’

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