Reasons emerge as Liverpool ‘agree fee’ for defender; youngster to depart


Liverpool have agreed a fee with Preston North End to sign defender Ben Davies before the January transfer window closes.

Earlier on Sunday it emerged that the clubs were ‘in talks’ over a move for the 25-year-old. Celtic had previously been linked and were said to have been quoted between £2m and £2.5m.

Bournemouth were told they would have to pay £3m if they wanted the centre-back. But the Reds will be required to fork out just £2m to get a deal over the line.

They will send youngster Sepp van der Berg to Deepdale on loan as part of the deal.

Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp, who watched Liverpool beat West Ham 3-1 on Sunday, previously said he would not sign a defender. But multiple reports on Sunday afternoon suggested he has had a change of heart and will target Davies.

The Reds have struggled with defensive injuries this season. Virgil van Dijk is a huge miss while Joe Gomez is also a lengthy absentee.

It was thought they might look overseas for a new stopper but have instead opted for a domestic transfer. Sky Sports report that this may be due to the coronavirus travel restrictions.

Furthermore, the outlet note that it will also be easier for Klopp to bench a less high-profile player when the senior stars return.

Davies came up through the Preston youth ranks and made his senior debut in 2013 as a 17-year-old. He struggled to nail down a regular starting berth and was loaned out to clubs including York, Tranmere and Fleetwood.

He managed to establish himself in the North End first team in the 2017-2018 campaign and has made 145 appearances. He has been free to speak to clubs outside England because he is in the last six months of his Preston contract.

That led to the Celtic agreement but it seems Liverpool have got their man.


Van den Berg heading to Preston

The addition of Van den Berg to the deal seems to have made a difference. The 19-year-old is highly thought of at Anfield but has yet to make a senior league appearance for the club.

Sepp van den Berg TEAMtalk

He made three League Cup appearances in 2019-2020 and played once in the FA Cup. Having come up through the PEC Zwolle youth ranks, he made his first-team debut aged just 16.

After 23 outings he moved to Merseyside in June 2019 and has mainly been featuring for the Under-23s. A switch to the second-tier club will give him some valuable experience of playing competitive football.

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