Rovers in the hands of Liverpool over Sepp van den Berg deal

·3-min read
Liverpool defender Sepp van den Berg
Liverpool defender Sepp van den Berg

Rovers have strong interest in taking Liverpool defender Sepp van den Berg on a season-long loan.

However, the deal is in the hands of his parent club who are weighing up other offers, and also keen to ensure they don’t leave themselves short of numbers.

That was behind a similar hold-up in the signing of Tyler Morton, who joined Rovers on a season-long loan from the Reds but only after the pre-season programme had been completed.

Since the 19-year-old moved to Rovers, Liverpool have suffered further injuries in midfield, with Jurgen Klopp mindful of leaving himself short given their expected busy schedule.

With Ibrahima Konate set to be out for around a month, Liverpool have decisions to make at the back, particularly with Nat Phillips attracting interest.

The Reds do however have Joe Gomez as back-up to Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip who started on the opening day.

Signed from PEC Zwolle in 2019 for just over £4m, van den Berg has played four times for Liverpool’s first-team, three of those having come in the league cup, while he made the bench in the opening day draw at Fulham.

Van Den Berg has experience of the Championship, making 61 appearances in the division times across two separate loan spells with Preston North End.

He has also been capped by the Netherlands at Under-19s and Under-21s level, playing alongside Jan Paul van Hecke for the latter age group in the summer.

While predominantly a central defender, van den Berg has also played as a right back and would be a versatile option for Rovers in their defensive ranks.

The two clubs have already dealt with each other in this window with Morton’s signing, while Rovers also tried to sign Ben Davies when he was at Anfield, only for him to move to Rangers on a permanent deal.

Morton also became the third player in as many years to make the season-long loan switch from Liverpool to Rovers, following in the footsteps of Harvey Elliott and Leighton Clarkson.

Rovers have so far made three signings of Callum Brittain, Sam Szmodics and Morton.

They are keen to add further, particularly in defence where they are light on numbers.

With former captain Darragh Lenihan and Jan Paul van Hecke having moved on, with the Irishman joining Middlesbrough after his contract expired and the Dutchman returning to parent club Brighton, Rovers are short of options.

Those have been hit further by injuries to Hayden Carter and Sam Barnes, with 17-year-old Ash Phillips making his debut in the Carabao Cup tie with Liverpool, while Harry Pickering has been forced to fill in at centre back.

An announcement isn't imminent with van den Berg however, with Rovers in the hands of Liverpool as to when he is released to go out on loan.

Burnley, Watford and Sheffield United are also credited with interest, while clubs in Germany are also said to look at him as an option, but Rovers are hopeful of getting a deal over the line.

It had been suggested that Rovers promising game-time to van den Berg was a reason for them getting to the head of queue for his signature - but that has been played down.

While Liverpool have placed penalty clauses in loan deals previously, that hasn’t happened in previous agreements between the clubs.