Premier League clubs Arsenal and Everton are battling it out for the signature of Genk’s 19-year-old defensive midfielder Sander Berge, according to a report on the Mirror.

The Belgian club rate the midfielder very highly and have valued the youngster at £18m. Arsenal have been monitoring Berge’s progress for several months and manager Arsene Wenger has reportedly been impressed with the player.

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The cost to sign the player will not be an issue for Arsenal but it may ward off interest from Everton who may not be willing to pay such a high price for the player.

The defensive midfielder could prove to be the long-term replacement for Francis Coquelin who had a disappointing season last year, as did the club by failing to secure a UEFA Champions League spot.

Arsenal did win the FA Cup and will be hoping to challenge for the league next season. The young midfielder may be worried about the game time that he will get at Arsenal as there is competition for the defensive midfield spot.

There has also been European interest in Berge as Spanish La Liga club Sevilla and French Ligue 1 champions AS Monaco are keeping tabs on the player’s situation. The teenager would likely enter Arsenal’s U23 setup with a view to a role in the first-team down the line.

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