Liverpool set £20m asking price for in-demand defender

Liverpool have set a valuation of £20 million for Sepp van den Berg, according to James Pearce of the Athletic. 

However, the Dutch defender’s future won’t be sorted until new head coach Arne Slot makes his assessment of the squad. 

It was reported in Germany last week that Van den Berg could be on the move to Mainz for a fee as little as €5m (£4.3m). 

But the latest news out of Anfield would appear to end those rumours, with Southampton, Brentford and Wolfsburg now also named as suitors by Pearce.

Van den Berg, 22, spent the 2023-24 season on loan at Mainz in the Bundesliga, where they narrowly avoided relegation to the second tier. 

Despite their indifferent form, the Zerofivers are reported to have been impressed with the Liverpool loanee, who played 35 matches for them overall, scoring three times.

The Netherlands under-21 international joined Mainz on a one-season loan deal last July with it believed that the move could be made permanent for a fee of around €5m, according to Kicker. 

The defender is out of contract in 2026, having joined Liverpool from PEC Zwolle for around €2m as a 17-year-old back in 2019. 

Slot wants to assess Van den Berg

He hasn’t been able to make the senior breakthrough at Anfield, appearing only four times for the first team, and has been on loan at Preston North End and Schalke previously.

Following his loan spell at Schalke, Van den Berg was linked with a permanent transfer to Ajax but he opted to go back to the Bundesliga for another stint with Mainz - Jurgen Klopp’s former club - instead. 

Arne Slot began his coaching career with Zwolle, where he was also a player, and came across Van den Berg as he made his way through the youth ranks before leaving for Liverpool.

And now the new boss is likely to give his compatriot a chance to impress with the Reds requiring added defensive numbers next season.

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