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Sheff Utd boss ‘planning for season’ with twin Arsenal targets

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic insists he is ‘not thinking’ about the season without Aaron Ramsdale and Sander Berge despite Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta plotting a double raid.

Ramsdale, 23, has been mentioned in connection with the Gunners for some time. Arteta has doubts over regular goalkeeper Bernd Leno and is eyeing an alternative. The former England Under-21 ace was in Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad but did not see any action.

He is now back at Bramall Lane preparing for life in the Championship. Ramsdale played in all 38 Premier League fixtures for the South Yorkshire outfit last term.

He was a busy man as the Blades conceded 63 top-flight goals en route to the second tier. It now seems as though the north Londoners want him on their books.

Reports suggest they have already had a bid of £30m turned down for the former Bournemouth shot-stopper. And Arsenal then tested the water over a double swoop on the men in red and white.

Midfielder Berge arrived at Bramall Lane in January 2020. The Norway international made 12 starts in the second half of 2019-2020. But, hampered by injury, he featured only 15 times in the league last term.

Nevertheless, Arteta is a fan and reports claim the Emirates outfit are looking to secure both stars this summer. Neither player is said to be pushing for an exit and Jokanovic recently said he was “happy with their professionalism”.

The Blades begin their Championship campaign at home to Birmingham City on Saturday. And, while mindful that anything can happen in football, the manager expects them both to remain in his squad.

“I will be really surprised if they don’t start against Birmingham,” he told reporters on Thursday. “There is still 22 days to go in the window and I hope they stay with us. They are important players in my squad. I am thinking about them as part of my squad and that’s it.

“Of course the possibility exists (of them leaving), but I am not thinking about being without them.”

Arteta warned over high-profile target

Leicester City ace James Maddison has been heavily linked with Arsenal this summer. The Foxes do not want to sell but there have been rumours that the midfielder is open to a change of scenery.

However, one man feels the Spanish tactician has got his priorities wrong. Former Tottenham and England strike Darren Bent believes there are more pressing issues than the centre of the park.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “Maddison is a fantastic player. I’d love to see him in an Arsenal shirt, but I believe there’s other positions that are probably more important than maybe getting that playmaker.”

READ MORE: Arsenal get Inter blessing over huge deal that would torpedo Chelsea plans



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