'We’re waiting' - Sporting Director explains delay over £20m Liverpool summer transfer

Liverpool are yet to sanction the sale of Sepp van den Berg because of this summer's international tournaments, Mainz sporting director, Christian Heidel has indicated.

The 22-year-old enjoyed a successful 2023/24 season on loan at Mainz, establishing himself as one of the most exciting young defenders in the Bundesliga and clearly impressed many within the club enough to earn a permanent transfer.

However, amid a £20million price-tag being placed on his head, van den Berg remains a Liverpool player to date and it might be a while until he's allowed to depart as Heidel has explained why a deal bringing the defender back to the MEWA Arena hasn't progressed.

"We’re waiting. We’ve been in contact with Liverpool several times," Heidel said, as per Fussball Transfers.

"When Liverpool starts training, there won’t be a central defender there because they’re all spread out at the European Championships and the Copa America and then they want to take a look and take their time."

To Heidel's point, with Liverpool due back for pre-season training in early July, new head coach Arne Slot is facing up to the prospect of being without Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez as they are away on international duty with Netherlands, France and England respectively.

Having said that, Jarell Quansah and Rhys Williams are the two senior central defenders likely to be available to the Dutchman but it could be that he wants to run the rule over van den Berg before a final decision is taken.

Sepp van den Berg

1:0 Mainz durch Sepp van den Berg 3, Mainz 05 17.02.2024, Fußball, 1. Bundesliga, 1. FSV Mainz 05 - FC Augsburg, 22. Spieltag, Saison 2023/24, MEWA Arena, Mainz, Deutschland, zmdz, ** DFB & DFL regulations prohibit any use of photographs as image sequences and/or quasi-video. ** 1. FSV Mainz 05 - FC Augsburg *** 1 0 Mainz by Sepp van den Berg 3, Mainz 05 17 02 2024, Football, 1 Bundesliga, 1 FSV Mainz 05 FC Augsburg, 22 Matchday, Season 2023 24, MEWA Arena, Mainz, Germany, zmdz, DFB DFL regulations prohibit any use of photographs as image sequences and or quasi video 1 FSV Mainz 05 FC Augsburg

Van Den Berg wants to leave

As things stand, van den Berg will be reporting for pre-season training with Liverpool next month. But having publicly stated he wants to play regular first-team football next season, he may not be around for much longer.

"They haven't radiated confidence in me all this time, but they do want to hinder my future," he recently said in an interview with De Telegraaf (via translation). "I want to keep playing weekly and develop myself further.”

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