By George Overhill

18th Jun, 2022 | 7:10pm

Sheffield United unlikely to demand full £35m release clause from Leeds United for Sander Berge

Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge has a £35million release-clause but Leeds United are unlikely to have to pay it, according to The Star.

The Norwegian has emerged as a Whites target in the event that star man Kalvin Phillips leaves for Manchester City, according to former Eurosport journalist Dean Jones on Give Me Sport.

As yet the club are not believed to have made an approach for the 24-year-old, but he is on Victor Orta’s radar for the coming weeks.

England international Phillips appears to be edging closer to a move to the Premier League champions, who want to pay between £45million-£50million [The Athletic].

The club could be forced to shell out the majority of that fee to the Blades if they want to bring in Berge as a replacement as The Star reports that relegation from the top flight took £10million off his previous release figure of £45million.

But it is reportedly “unlikely” that they would demand the full amount, as long as they could get a “meaningful return” on their investment after signing him for a club-record £22million in January 2020.

Heavy outlay

If home town hero Phillips is to exit Elland Road this summer it will necessitate a replacement coming in, and while transfer signings tend to be exciting for fans this one may not be so.

With City hoping to keep the price paid down, and an amount for Berge apparently tied to the Blades’ deal to sign him it could be deflating to see more than half of any Phillips money go straight back out for him.

The Norway international could be a useful addition alongside Marc Roca in the midfield, as he has size and top flight experience.

But he was relegated in Dean Smith’s side and he seems expensive as a signing from the Championship.

Although top strikers from the second tier now often command such fees, it is quite steep for a defensive midfielder.

If Orta and Jesse Marsch are confident that he can solidify an area that saw little in the way of stability during a chaotic 2021/22 season he may be worth it, but as a like-for-like replacement if a club star leaves he will have considerable pressure on his shoulders from the off.

In other Leeds United news, the club were keeping tabs on another midfield option but his own release clause has just been met.