Liverpool defender Sepp van den Berg is being targeted by Mainz, who want to learn within a week if they will be successful in acquiring him or not, it has been claimed.
Van den Berg joined Liverpool from PEC Zwolle in 2019, but only made four appearances in his debut season. No gametime for the first team followed in the first half of his second season, before he left on loan for Preston North End for the next 18 months.
His spell with Preston was very productive, which made it something of a surprise when Liverpool sent him away from English football when choosing his next loan destination last summer.
Van den Berg spent the 2022-23 season on loan at Schalke, but only made nine appearances for them. Therefore, he will need to find somewhere he can settle again more quickly ahead of the new season.
Still only 21 years old, the Dutchman could yet reignite his development at a new destination. And reports have recently emerged from Germany suggesting that he has become a target for Mainz.
Of course, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was in charge of Mainz between 2001 and 2008. Perhaps he could do his old club a favour by lending them Van den Berg.
According to the latest from journalist Alan Nixon, writing for The Sun, Mainz are awaiting an answer from Liverpool about Van den Berg within the next week.
The Bundesliga side, who finished ninth this season, are optimistic they will get the green light from Liverpool about the deal.
Liverpool to loan out Van den Berg again
The 6ft 4in defender agreed a contract until 2024 when joining Liverpool in the first place, but his contract was extended for the long term by his parent club before he moved to Schalke in August.
Therefore, Liverpool have some flexibility to allow him to leave on loan again, which is the formula that Mainz want to use rather than a permanent transfer.
Indeed, there is confidence growing at Mainz that Van den Berg will be theirs next season.
As a centre-back, he would remain behind Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez in the pecking order at Liverpool. The fact he can cover at right-back as well adds a string to his bow, but it still isn’t quite enough for him to make his mark on Klopp’s team at this moment in time.
Van den Berg has previously confessed he would be open to staying in the Bundesliga with Schalke. Instead, he now looks likelier to get the chance with a different club in the shape of Mainz.