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Arsenal have made the first move in the race to sign Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge by opening the bidding with a £17.2m offer, according to reports.
Points may have been hard to come by at Bramall Lane this year, but the Blades’ Norwegian international has caught the eye of several English clubs.
The Gunners have been linked with Berge for some time, with Mikel Arteta looking to refresh his squad this summer.
Considering the Yorkshire side’s struggles in the Premier League, the hierarchy at the Emirates believe they can get the 23-year-old on the cheap.
According to French site Jeunes Footeux, Arsenal have made a bid worth around £17.2million for Berge, but the Blades will hold out for £25.8million plus a 10-20% sell-on fee.
However, United boss Paul Heckingbottom has dismissed the reports as rumours.
Heckingbottom, speaking to YorkshireLive, said: "No, no offers. We know how things work.
"If there is anything happening for our players it's bubbling away behind the scenes until windows open and things can possibly happen, but it is all paper talk.
"Ninety-odd percent of it will never surface. At the minute it is all just rumour and speculation. We've had no bids for our players."
Should Berge arrive, he would be fighting for a place in the Arsenal side with Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny, some of whom might be expected to move on.
It would also likely spell the end of Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira’s stays with the Gunners, with the former set to move to Marseille this summer after a season-long loan at Hertha Berlin.
Meanwhile, Torreira has struggled for gametime on loan at La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid, and is looking for a permanent move away from the Emirates, with Boca Juniors, Inter Milan and Sevilla all said to be interested.
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