Premier League • England

In-form Liverpool star becomes top objective for Bundesliga club as transfer chances rated

Sepp van den Berg, Mainz, Liverpool

A Liverpool player is hot property heading into the summer

Bundesliga side Mainz have a ‘clear goal’ of re-signing Liverpool defender Sepp van den Berg this summer, though the transfer is up in the air due to one key issue, according to reports.

Van Den Berg joined Mainz on loan last summer after spending the 2022-23 season with Schalke. The centre-back has taken his game to the next level while at Mainz, making 33 appearances and establishing himself as a key player in their first team.

Van Den Berg has put in plenty of top performances, with WhoScored ranking him as Mainz’s best defender this term and the club’s third-best player overall.

The Netherlands U21 international is due to return to Liverpool when the campaign finishes. But according to reports coming from Germany, Mainz have made it a ‘clear goal’ to take Van Den Berg back to the Mewa Arena for next season.

Van Den Berg has ‘delivered constantly’ for the club this term, despite being only 22 years of age, and Mainz officials would love to strike a permanent deal.

Given the good relationship that already exists between Mainz and Liverpool, the German side is hopeful that they will have a ‘right of first refusal’ when offers fly in for Van Den Berg this summer.

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It is claimed that Mainz could sign the player for just €7million (£6m), although that would be a surprise as Liverpool will be well aware of how he has shone in recent months.

Should Mainz not be able to afford the permanent signing of Van Den Berg, then they could enter talks with Liverpool over a second loan move.

Liverpool transfers: Mainz want fresh Van Den Berg move

However, the key factor at play here is whether Mainz remain in Germany’s top flight. The side, who are managed by Danish coach Bo Henriksen, currently sit in 15th spot, just one place above the drop zone.

If Mainz lose their final game of the season – a trip to Wolfsburg on Saturday – and 16th-placed Union Berlin win, then Mainz will be relegated.

Liverpool have already told Mainz that they will not be loaning Van Den Berg out to a second-tier club. The player himself, meanwhile, has shown he has more than enough ability to shine for a top-flight club in Germany.

The report states that Mainz currently have a 30 per cent chance of re-signing Van Den Berg, either through a loan or permanent deal.

Should Mainz fail in this particular transfer hunt, then it is more likely the former Preston North End loanee will join a different club, rather than stay at Liverpool.

In February, Van Den Berg said: “If I go back to Liverpool, they might want me to stay. If I see that I won’t get much game time, then I might choose to leave. It’s really important to me that I play.

“In previous years, I didn’t feel like I would be starting next to Virgil [van Dijk]. I don’t know yet what my chances will be like next summer.

“I think I’m doing well. I can handle playing at Liverpool. I can compete. But being a starter is different. Virgil and [Ibrahima] Konate are not easy to beat. I know it will be hard.”

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