Having tested positive for Covid just before transfer deadline day, Sander Berge’s future looks like it could be at Sheffield United for a while longer.
That being said, the Blades seem to be eyeing up a potential replacement for the Norwegian, at least temporarily, as La Voix du Nord explain the Championship side are interested in Lille’s Cheikh Niasse, alongside other teams, such as Brighton & Hove Albion and Club Brugge.
It would only be for a loan, mind, as the Ligue 1 side firmly believe in the defensive midfielder, who spent the last six months with Panathinaikos in Greece.
Currently fifth in the Lille midfield hierarchy, Niasse wants minutes, which the French club cannot offer him for now, especially following the purchase of Amadou Onana, but many other clubs would be ready to play him.
As well as the aforementioned Sheffield United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Club Brugge, Lorient, Angers and especially Brest, said to be in the lead, are ready.
The two English side are ‘following him very closely’, perhaps hoping that a deal could be struck before the end of Tuesday.
A loan, however, is ‘conditioned to the extension of his contract (from 2023 to 2025)’, as Lille know full well that a good season could see ‘his market value rise considerably’, and they wouldn’t want to find themselves in an awkward situation with him having just one year left on his deal when he returns.
La Voix du Nord state the first contract offer didn’t meet the player’s requirements, but a second offer should ‘rapidly arrive on the table’.
Should that be accepted, ‘nothing will stop’ the player from heading out on loan, even if he isn’t against ‘staying in the north and fighting for his spot’ with the Ligue 1 side.
As for Sheffield and Brighton in all this, it depends how badly Graham Potter and Slavisa Jokanovic really want Niasse.
First, though, he needs to extend his contract, and there’s no doubting both the Blades and the Seagulls will be keeping their fingers crossed.