Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has addressed the rumours regarding his side’s interest in Sheffield United’s Sander Berge in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Europa League clash with Molde on Thursday.
Norwegian outlet VG recently claimed Arsenal are interested in signing the midfielder after they missed out on him earlier this year. Berge joined the Blades for a club-record £22 million (BBC) in January.
The midfielder made his name with Genk. His performances in Belgium and for Norway caught the attention of a number of top sides, but Chris Wilder won the race for his signature.
Berge has shown his quality in the Premier League but, like many of his teammates, has struggled this term. The Blades are bottom of the table after picking up just one point from nine games.
With the possibility of relegation hanging over his head Berge has been linked to Arsenal. And Arteta revealed his assistant, Albert Stuivenberg, is a huge fan of the Norwegian midfielder.
Arteta told Football London: “Albert knows him really well. He’s a player he really likes. We haven’t shown any interest in the player and he’s a Sheffield United player.”
Stuivenberg managed Berge’s former side Genk for little more than a year. The Dutchman claimed in an interview earlier this year the Blades star is mature, intelligent and a future leader (Read here).
Arsenal’s assistant boss isn’t the only one to heap praise on Berge. Another one of his former coaches, Kjetil Rekdal, compared the Norwegian to Gunners legend Patrick Vieira in an interview with The Times this year.
It will be interesting to see whether Stuivenberg can convince Arteta to make a move for Berge. A January move is highly unlikely but he could be an option at the end of the season – especially if Sheffield United are relegated.