In the final days of the January transfer window, the rumour mill has brought new claims of interest from Liverpool in Sheffield United’s Sander Berge.
With the transfer window due to close at 11pm on Tuesday, the Reds are unlikely to add to their ranks following the signing of Cody Gakpo.
Despite this, there is a clamour among supporters to bring in another midfielder, to bolster a group which, believe it or not, is now the strongest in terms of numbers.
Arthur, who is due back within the next three weeks, and Fabio Carvalho, whose most recent minutes have come in attack, are the only senior absentees.
But that has not stopped rumours of a move for Sheffield United midfielder Berge, which has, in turn, sparked concern among fans on social media.
Speculation arose among click-hungry Twitter news aggregators, citing similar ‘sources’ from Chelsea, with both clubs linked with a late move for the 24-year-old.
?| Liverpool are set to battle Chelsea for the signing of Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge before the transfer window shuts. [@siphillipssport] pic.twitter.com/v6J45Ul0MY
— Anfield Edition (@AnfieldEdition) January 27, 2023
This was then picked up by the Liverpool Echo, talkSPORT and BBC Sport, among others, all seemingly ignoring the reality of these latest reports.
At present, there is no story when it comes to Liverpool and Berge, with links instead fuelled by historic interest and the perceived need for a midfield signing.
On Friday, Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom did confirm that the Championship club had received interest in the Norwegian, along with Iliman Ndiaye, but there had been “no bids.”
“There has been interest and there always is. You start to hear it before windows open,” he told reporters including YorkshireLive.
“There has been interest but there have been no bids.”
Sheffield United are currently under a transfer embargo, imposed by the EFL, but Heckingbottom is hoping the club’s owners would agree that it is therefore “even more important players don’t leave.”
It has been suggested, though, that speculation over Berge and Ndiaye, who have both been linked with Premier League clubs, has come from those within the club.
Given their financial issues, it would perhaps make sense for Sheffield United to shift their most valuable assets as soon as possible.
Berge has a £35 million release clause in his contract, but would almost certainly be available for cheaper.
This is likely to be another case of Liverpool’s name being used to generate interest, and any move for Berge would only come in an emergency situation such as seen with the signing of Ben Davies in 2021.
With Thiago, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, James Milner, Harvey Elliott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Stefan Bajcetic all fit, and Carvalho and Arthur not far off, there is no need to simply bring bodies in this month.