Sheffield United interim manager Paul Heckingbottom has claimed that Norwegian international Sander Berge is likely to remain with the Blades this summer despite interest from both Liverpool and Aston Villa in recent weeks.
Speaking to Yorkshire Live, the Sheffield coach revealed that he is confident in the 23-year-old midfielder will stay with the club despite relegation being confirmed earlier this month, with Eurosport reporting that Liverpool and Villa are just two of multiple sides interested in signing Berge in the summer transfer window.
The Sheffield Star reported last month that the Blades have slapped a £28m price tag on the six-foot-five midfielder, but Heckingbottom’s latest comments seem to suggest that Berge will remain with United as they prepare for Championship football next season after two years in the Premier League.
The Sheffield boss said when asked about Berge’s future: “That will be out of my hands, maybe out of the club’s hands and maybe out of Sander’s hands, we don’t know, but certainly expecting him to be, yes. He’s our player, contracted and what a player he would be for us as well to help us get back into the Premier League.”
TBR View: Berge could force a move after 18-months of Premier League football
Heckingbottom might feel like Berge could remain with the club next season in the Championship, but after playing in the Premier League for almost 18 months after joining from KRC Genk, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see the Norwegian international push for a move once this season is done.
At 23, Berge is entering an important stage of his career where he will want to be playing top-level football at a consistent rate, and whilst Sheffield have given him a platform to promote his talents in one of the most popular leagues in world football, it is unlikely he would want to commit a year of his sporting life to compete in a lesser division.