Future still up in the air for forgotten Liverpool defender who wants Germany stay

With his season-long loan at German side Mainz set to expire on 30 June, a decision on the future of forgotten Liverpool defender Sepp van den Berg must soon be made.

The 22-year-old centre-back, who excelled on loan with the Bundesliga outfit last season, playing 35 times and scoring three goals, is in demand. However, it would seem that his parent club is not one of his suitors, and an extension to his stay in Germany is most likely at this moment.

Mainz sporting director Christian Heidel revealed, in quotes carried by Kicker: "The only one who has made a decision is Sepp. He definitely wants to stay in Mainz. He has made that very clear publicly."

However, Bild recently reported that Mainz attempted to engage the Reds in negotiations over the transfer of the 22-year-old but that the lines of communication have effectively gone dead.

All that leaves Van den Berg and Mainz in the dark over the player’s future.

MAINZ WANT TO KEEP VAN DEN BERG

Mainz narrowly avoided relegation in a miracle escape and Van den Berg was one of the few bright spots in the campaign.

German reports claim that Mainz would like to add the former PEC Zwolle player permanently and even stated that a €5 million deal and the right of first refusal had been written into the initial loan deal.

However, sources on Merseyside have refuted those reports, claiming the Reds will seek £20m for the Dutch under-21 international.

Van den Berg, under contract until 2026, is understood to be furious with the club and has accused Liverpool of blocking his development.

“They haven't radiated confidence in me all this time, but they do want to hinder my future," he told De Telegraaf. "I want to keep playing weekly and develop myself further.”

A source also told the German publication: "The new sports boss Richard Hughes has more important issues right now than a player who was loaned to Germany - I'm not even sure if he even knows Sepp van den Berg.”

VAN DEN BERG IN DEMAND THIS SUMMER

Van den Berg joined Liverpool as a 17-year-old in 2019 from PEC Zwolle, where new Liverpool boss Arne Slot was previously a coach.

However, he has been unable to make a breakthrough at Anfield during his senior career. He went out on loan to both Schalke and Preston North End before finally finding a place where he could excel with Mainz in the Bundesliga.

That said, it’s by no means certain that Mainz will be his final destination. Southampton, Brentford and Wolfsburg all reported to be interested.

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