Premier League • England

Liverpool transfers: First sale of Arne Slot era nears as Bundesliga club prepare offer

Ben Stewart
Sepp van den Berg looks set to leave Liverpool

Liverpool have big plans for the summer as new manager Arne Slot aims to put his own stamp on the team ahead of his first season at Anfield.

The Dutch coach and his recruitment staff are keen to bring in a new winger, midfielder, centre-back and right-back, but several Reds stars will also be sold.

Liverpool intend to offload players who aren’t part of Slot’s long-term plans, with the departures of Joel Matip and Thiago already confirmed by the club.

Others will soon follow and according to reliable transfer journalist Florian Plettenberg, Liverpool are likely to part ways with young defender Sepp van den Berg this summer.

The Dutch centre-half has spent the last three and a half years out on loan with the likes of Preston North End, Schalke and Mainz.

His latest loan spell with Mainz went particularly well as he gained quite a reputation for himself while playing at the MEWA Arena.

According to Plettenberg, negotiations between Liverpool and Mainz have already commenced with the Bundesliga club keen to sign him on a permanent basis.

Van den Berg himself is ‘eager’ to stay at the club on the back of a successful individual season in the Bundesliga. He’s still under contract with Liverpool until 2026 and as of writing, it’s unclear how much they will be looking for.

READ MORE: Every centre-back linked with a move to Liverpool this summer, including Everton star, Arne Slot favourite

Van den Berg can’t hide Liverpool frustrations

During a recent interview with De Telegraaf, the Dutch defender made it abundantly clear that he wants to leave Liverpool on a permanent basis this summer.

“I knew that I couldn’t get from PEC Zwolle [straight] to Liverpool’s first team,” he explained.

“I could have been at Liverpool for one or two more years, but I wanted to play with all my might. I demanded to be [loaned] out. Every time, because I felt that I was getting better and better. I also made great strides physically.”

After two successful loan spells with Preston North End, Van den Berg said he felt ‘ready’ to make an impact in the first team, but he never got that chance.

“I had a good conversation with the management. He said he had received good reports. I understood that I wasn’t going to play Van Dijk, Matip or Konate out [the team].

“But I thought I could be right behind it. When I didn’t get a chance again, I said: ‘Figure it out, I want to leave.’

“(Liverpool) didn’t exude confidence in me all this time, but you do want to hinder my future. I want to keep playing every week and develop myself further.

“In Germany, I enjoy Dortmund away with 70,000 people, Bayern Munich away against Harry Kane, Stuttgart, Leipzig, Leverkusen, against clubs like that I am challenged every week.”

The move to Mainz will likely be the best outcome for all parties. Liverpool will be able to make their money back on the Dutch defender and he’ll get the chance to play regularly in Germany.

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