By Danny Wright
Everton have re-ignited their interest in Genk teenager Sander Berge, according to a report.
The Mirror claims that the Toffees tried to sign the midfield enforcer last season, but are set to have a battle with their Premier League rivals Arsenal this time, who are also in pursuit and are plotting a bid.
It is understood that Belgian outfit Genk value Berge at £18million and that “will not be an issue” for the Gunners, who are eager to strengthen after a poor showing last season.
Arsenal are said to have been sending scouts to keep tabs on Berge for a number of months and have already established communication with his representatives.
According to the Mirror, Sevilla and French champions Monaco are also interested in the 19-year-old, who already has three senior international caps for Norway.
Berge made 27 appearances for Genk across all competitions last season, playing primarily as a defensive midfielder.
He only moved to Belgium last season after developing through the ranks of Asker and Valerenga in his native Norway.
The highly-rated teenager earned his first cap in March when he played for 15 minutes in Norway’s 2-0 loss to Northern Ireland.
He has since been given more prominent roles in draws with both Czech Republic and Sweden.
Football Insider Verdict
Ronald Koeman could have a really good squad on his hands by the time next season begins. With Jordan Pickford and Davy Klasseen already added to the ranks, bringing in Berge could add some serious strength in depth to the holding midfield role that has been brilliantly played by Idrissa Gueye recently. Berge is definitely one for the future but could earn a lot of experience by helping the Toffees out in the Europa League of cup competitions as Koeman seeks to keep his squad fit. The teenager has experience in European and international competitions, which adds a lot to his value.
In other Everton news, the Toffees want this 32-goal striker to replace Romelu Lukaku.