Five Premier League clubs want Genk’s Sander Berge – West Ham, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Brighton and Hove Albion.

Aston Villa have joined the likes of Liverpool in the race to sign £20 million Sander Berge, according to BleacherReport, but West Ham United are leading the way to sign the Genk powerhouse as things stand.

One of a number of highly-rated Norwegians to become a gossip column regular in recent weeks, the 6ft 4ins central midfielder is expected to leave Belgian football behind sooner rather than later.

Genk defender Carlos Cuesta even admitted last week that Berge was very unlikely to still be playing for Genk by the time the January transfer window slams shut in less than two months’ time with Liverpool’s interest becoming public knowledge.

Dimitri de Conde, the club’s sporting director, confirmed in November that the Anfield giants were hot on the 21-year-old’s heels (FootNews).

But new reports on Friday suggest that Liverpool, as well as Aston Villa, Brighton and Sheffield United have fallen behind West Ham in the queue with just a fortnight remaining until the New Year begins.

Interestingly, Berge had a brief spell with The Hammers four years ago and BleacherReport believes that he would prefer the opportunity to return to London with Manuel Pellegrini’s side feeling they can get a deal over the line for around £20 million.

This comes as a major boost at the perfect time for a club who have slipped into the relegation reckoning after just one win in their last 11 matches.

Powerful yet blessed with a supreme technical ability, Berge could form a fearsome partnership with fellow wonderkid Declan Rice at the heart of a currently one-paced West Ham midfield.

In other news, John Aldridge thinks ‘immense’ Liverpool player ‘can save the club’ £30m