Sheffield United will have to increase their offer for Sander Berge to prise him from Genk by Friday’s transfer cut-off, Football Insider has learned.
The Premier League club are in pole position to land the Norway international, 21, after holding extensive talks over a deal.
A Blades source has told Football Insider that the club felt they had reached an agreement with Genk at a price of £18-20million for Berge.
But the Belgium outfit have moved the goalposts in the last 24 hours and are now holding out for a higher fee.
United are hopeful Berge wants to make the move to Bramall Lane and they are the only club in the running to get him.
That did not come close to Genk’s asking price and the Hammers subsequently pursued alternative targets.
Berge is out of contract at the Jupiler Pro League club in 18 months’ time and this means they are ready to cash in.
Berge is regarded as one of the best young central midfielders in Europe.
He has already accumulated 20 senior Norway caps as well as 113 appearances for Genk after initially making his name in his homeland.
Chris Wilder has made him his top midfield target for the final days of the window but may pursue alternative targets if a deal cannot now be agreed.
In other Sheffield United news, it can be REVEALED that the club have agreed terms of new centre-forward deal and announcement is imminent.