Martin Odegaard teammate and £22m-rated midfielder reveals how close he came to joining West Ham

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West Ham, Newcastle United and Fulham all sought to make a late move for the Sheffield United player.

Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge has revealed how close he came to a move away from Bramall Lane in January.

The Norway midfielder was left out of the Blades’ squad for their 3-3 draw with Wrexham in the FA Cup, with it emerging manager Paul Heckingbottom had been told to leave one of his star players at home amid transfer interest from West Ham, Newcastle United and Fulham.

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However, deadline day came and went as Berge remained with the Blades, who are second in the Championship table as they target a return to the Premier League after being relegated in 2021.

Berge is part of the Norway squad for their Euro 2024 qualifiers, where he will play alongside Arsenal man Martin Odegaard. Man City star Erling Haaland will not feature after picking up a minor injury.

Speaking to TV2, Berge said: “I was prepared to go and play a cup match, first and foremost, and was looking forward to it. I had visitors and people would come and watch a match. It didn’t turn out that way and I was told that I was not part of the squad.

“Then it was a bit like that back and forth. The club and my agents (Morten Wivestad and Mike Kjølø) tried to see what was possible to achieve. There was interest there.

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“It never got to the point where I needed to make a choice. I wasn’t very involved. It passed, then I was playing matches again. There will be speculation. The boys know how to make a bit of fun out of it.”

There is the possibility a move for Berge could be revisited by the Hammers as questions continue to be raised over Declan Rice’s future.

Berge joined Sheffield United in January 2020 as the club went on to finish ninth in the top flight. He has been linked with a move away since the club’s relegation in 2021.

However, he refused to be drawn on his future, which is likely to hinge on Sheffield United’s league status next season.

He added: “It is difficult to say in football. You shouldn’t predict too far ahead, because things change quickly. I’ll have to take that when the time comes.”

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