Jurgen Klopp is reportedly ready to fast-forward plans to sign a Norwegian target after the damaging injury blow sustained by key Liverpool cog Fabinho.
Fabinho had to be taken off during the first half of the 1-1 Champions League draw against Napoli in midweek, and the club have now confirmed that scans have shown ligament damage.
Liverpool confirmed the Brazilian would miss their crucial and hectic run of December fixtures as a result, but reports have suggested the damage is more serious and Fabinho won’t be back in action until the end of January at the earliest.
And while Georginio Wijnaldum has hinted that he could fill Fabinho’s role in defensive midfield if needed, the Daily Mirror claims Klopp is ready to bring forward plans to sign Sander Berge – Genk’s impressive midfielder – as a result.
The highly-rated Norwegian midfielder looks set to leave the Belgian side next year with just 18 months left on his deal, but the paper suggests Liverpool could look to make a move for him now amid their fears over Fabinho.
Berge is also being tracked by Napoli and Chelsea, but it seems Liverpool do have an advantage with Klopp already laying the groundwork for the deal after the Reds manager was seen speaking with the player after their recent Champions League clash.
The report states that Klopp was impressed with the former Valerenga man and spoke to Berge at Anfield, saying: “You are an interesting player, a very interesting player.”
Berge refused to reveal exactly what the German had said to him: “It was a great moment. It is nice. You take it with a smart smile. It is nice that such a reputable trainer comes away and says something like that,” said Berge.
“But overall, it’s the team performance I’m happy with. We go ahead, get up and play evenly with Liverpool throughout the match. That’s what matters most.”
For Liverpool and Klopp, however, the immediate priority will be how to plug Fabinho’s gap in the side throughout December.
“The biggest thing is the Fabinho injury, that’s massive. It’s early and we all hope it’s not too serious but it’s pretty painful and in an area you don’t want to have pain, around the ankle.”
Fabinho had featured in all but one of the Reds’ Premier League games so far, while also being ever-present in the Champions League.
He will now miss a hectic period for Liverpool, who have eight games to play in December – including the last Champions League group match against RB Salzburg and the Club World Cup.