Jurgen Klopp could see his interest in bringing Sander Berge to Liverpool trumped by a familiar face in Manchester City, according to a report.
Berge only joined the Blades in January 2020 for a fee of £22m, but looks destined to leave if relegation is confirmed in the coming weeks. The Bramall Lane outfit are bottom of the table and parted company with boss Chris Wilder prior to their 5-0 thrashing at Leicester. However, their results have not improved and interim Paul Heckingbottom has now overseen three straight losses.
With a return to the Championship looking inevitable, the Blades are likely to lose some of their top talent.
And top of that bill is Berge, who has been strongly linked with Aston Villa, Arsenal and Tottenham. However, last month it emerged that Klopp had earmarked the Norwegian as a potential recruit. It was claimed the Reds boss saw Berge as a perfect replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum in the Liverpool engine room.
Now though it seems that interest in Berge is growing. According to Voetbal24, the former Genk midfielder is being eyed by Manchester City. They claim Pep Guardiola has earmarked the 23-year-old as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho. The Brazilian star – a mainstay of the City midfield – is being tipped to depart this summer.
The Belgian outlet claim the Blades are looking for around £30m for Berge. As part of the deal that took him to Bramall Lane, his former club Genk are due a 20% sell-on. Were he to move for £30m, that would see £6m head to the Belgian side and still leave the Blades with a small profit on their initial investment.
Berge is currently sidelined through injury, having not featured since a 3-2 defeat to Manchester United in December.
Klopp will have to act fast for Berge
Klopp, however, still remains hopeful of a deal but may need to work fast to convince Berge to move to Anfield.
Berge is very well known to Klopp and has been aware of his talents for some time. Indeed, Liverpool were strongly linked to Berge prior to his move to Bramall Lane. That was after the Reds’ Champions League battles with his former club, Genk.
And following the November 2019 clash, Klopp was reported to have held an intriguing chat with Berge.
“You are an interesting player, a very interesting player,” Klopp was reported to have said.
Berge refused to reveal exactly what the German had said to him, however.
“It was a great moment. It is nice. You take it with a smart smile. It is nice that such a reputable trainer comes away and says something like that,” said Berge.
“But overall, it’s the team performance I’m happy with. We go ahead, get up and play evenly with Liverpool throughout the match. That’s what matters most.”