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Arsenal joined by Atalanta and Napoli in Sander Berge transfer race but NO club will meet £35m release clause


ATALANTA are reportedly set to join Arsenal and Napoli in the battle to sign Sheffield United’s Sander Berge. 

But the Italian and Prem giants have reportedly baulked at the release clause fee for the injury-hit midfielder.

Atalanta are reported to be joining the race to sign Sheffield United's Sander Berge

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Atalanta are reported to be joining the race to sign Sheffield United’s Sander BergeCredit: PA

The Huddersfield Daily Examiner and outlets in Italy claim Atalanta want to recruit the Norway midfielder on loan for the upcoming season.

And the Gewiss Stadium side – who finished third in Serie A last term – want to have the choice of making the agreement permanent at the end of the season.

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However, Blades fans will be hoping Sheffield United’s hierarchy turn their noses up at the Italian side’s proposal.  

Meanwhile, Arsenal are reportedly on the cusp of bidding farewell to Granit Xhaka with the wantaway Switzerland skipper linked with a move to Roma this summer. 

The Gunners are rumoured to be eyeing up Sheff Utd’s Norway international as a Xhaka replacement.

However, Blades chiefs are adamant he is not for sale despite their recent relegation to the Championship.

It means the Gunners, Atalanta or Napoli will have to cough up the £35m release clause payment should they wish to buy the Norway star. 

However, it is thought all three clubs see that asking price as too steep and have been put off from lodging a bid. 

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And the trio are reported to have reservations about Berge’s fitness following a recent injury spell which has seen him spend five months out of action following a hamstring strain. 

The Blades are reportedly unwilling to consider bids below £35million for Berge

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The Blades are reportedly unwilling to consider bids below £35million for BergeCredit: Jamie McPhilimey – The Sun

Sheffield United gaffer Slavisa Jokanovic is keen on retaining the services of the former Belgium Pro League ace

The player, who has 24 Norway international caps, sealed a four-and-half-year £22m move to the Blades from Genk in January 2020. 

And he netted his first goal for the side in a 3-1 win against Tottenham in July that year. 

It is thought Jokanovic sees the player as being part of his plans to secure promotion to the Prem at the end of next season. 

Atalanta are thought to want to take Berge on a season-long loan before considering a permanent move

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Atalanta are thought to want to take Berge on a season-long loan before considering a permanent moveCredit: Getty

In a press conference on Friday (July 3) Jokanovic said:  “I have some information about it being some kind of possibility (Sander leaving).

“I have not had an opportunity to talk with him, but the first time I speak with him I will encourage him to stay with us.”

Sheffield United dropped into the Championship last term after winning just seven of the 38 top-flight games they played. 

The club are targeting a return to the top tier of the game at the end of the 2021-22 season.





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