Nobody quite knows what is going on with Manchester United and Bruno Fernandes, which is all the more reason for the club to have contingency plans.
A new midfielder is badly needed, and while he would be a very different type of player to Bruno Fernandes, defensive midfielder Sander Berge is one who should be on the club’s radar.
What’s his situation?
Berge, 21, could be a late mover before the transfer deadline.
Sky Sports report ‘Genk are believed to be willing to sell for £17m’, as he is out of contract in June 2021.
Sheffield United have been prominently linked with a shock move for him this week.
Here is a look at why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should look at bringing his fellow Norwegian to Old Trafford.
Berge fits well
Manchester United need a defensive midfielder who can play the Nemanja Matic role, with the Serb’s contract expiring.
Berge has similar traits, he is a tall, well built player, who likes to defend first. He can score goals too though, chipping in four from midfield this season already.
He is good in possession too, for a player of 6ft5″ he is surprisingly strong dribbler and is far more than just a destroyer.
With Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba out injured, United’s only midfield options at present are Fred, Nemanja Matic and Andreas Pereira.
If Solskjaer chose to bring in his countryman, Berge would be there on merit, because he would improve United’s current options, and physically, he should have no problem adapting to the Premier League.
At 21, he would fit the profile for the type of young, talented players United should be looking to build around.
He’s highly rated
Berge is regarded as one of Europe’s most promising talents. The fact Sheffield United are keen says a lot about their sudden rise, and is a compliment to the midfielder considering how well run Chris Wilder’s side is.
Genk sporting director Dimitri De Conde told Football Italia earlier this season that Liverpool and Napoli were also interested.
Goal subsequently reported Chelsea are keen to sign the midfielder. Last year TeamTalk claimed Tottenham considered him as a replacement for Mousa Dembele, while Il Messaggero have previously claimed Roma have scouted him frequently.
It is clear Berge is very highly rated and he is both fairly priced and available.
He’s a winner
Berge was a key part of Genk winning their first Belgian league title in eight years last season.
At the age of 21 he already has 150 club appearances under his belt, and he has 20 caps for Norway already.
United need hungry, talented players, for which Berge fits, and the experience of winning a league title at such a young age should not be underestimated.
Berge has captained Genk already, and adding leaders into this inexperienced United side is always a good idea.
Quick prediction: If United do move, it will more likely be in the summer if he is still available.
That’s a risk, as Berge could easily leave Genk before the transfer deadline. We would just be surprised if the decision makers at Old Trafford pull any inspiring signings out of the bag before Friday, even though they need to.
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