Transfer TWIST as £20m defender now expected to join Liverpool squad for pre-season tour

Sepp van den Berg will be given the chance to prove himself in Liverpool’s pre-season matches having impressed club staff including Arne Slot since returning from his loan spell at Mainz. 

Van den Berg, 22, spent last season on loan in the Bundesliga, helping Mainz scramble clear from relegation, and was one of the bright spots in an otherwise dismal campaign. 

It had however been expected that the Dutch defender would leave Liverpool this summer with interest not only from Mainz but Wolfsburg, PSV and several clubs in the Premier League. 

Liverpool have set a £20 million asking price for the stopper, who has had loan spells at Schalke and Preston earlier in his Anfield career. 

That price has proven to be a stumbling block for PSV with it believed that Van den Berg would consider a move to the Dutch champions

The Athletic has also revealed that bids have been turned down by the club from Mainz and Wolfsburg. 

The player was reported to be severely unhappy at failing to get a move away from Merseyside earlier this summer, suggesting that the Reds were hindering his development.

Liverpool signed Van den Berg from Dutch side PEC Zwolle in 2019 for around £4 million and he is under contract with the Premier League side until 2026. 

And in a stunning turnaround, he will be afforded an opportunity to stake a claim for a first-team spot under the new regime. 

Arne Slot is a previous PEC Zwolle coach and encountered Van den Berg in the youth ranks and has been working with his compatriot since last week when Liverpool’s initial batch of players returned for pre-season training. 

Sepp van den Berg to join Liverpool for pre-season tour

James Pearce of the Athletic says he: “showcased his fitness levels by registering the highest average speed during the running tests over the weekend” and  “Slot and his staff believe the defender’s technical ability went up a level during his time in Germany.”

It is now expected that the defender will fly with the first-team squad to the United States as part of their pre-season programme which begins on July 26 against Real Betis in Pittsburgh. 

Liverpool will be without Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate for at least part of their pre-season programme with Van Dijk and Gomez still at Euro 2024 and Konate’s campaign just ended at the semi-final stage. 

Therefore Van den Berg can expect some minutes under Arne Slot before the season starts in August. 

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