Liverpool are claimed to have attempted to sign Sepp van den Berg‘s younger brother, only for the teenager to opt against following his sibling to sign with PEC Zwolle.
Van den Berg made the switch to Merseyside last summer, having played 22 times for the PEC Zwolle first team before his 18th birthday, arriving in a quiet transfer window for the Reds.
It has been a muted first campaign with Liverpool so far, with Van den Berg making four appearances for the senior side along with 23 more at academy level, as he takes time to adjust to English football.
He could be in line for a bigger role next season, depending on various ins and outs as Dejan Lovren among others consider their future, but for now he remains a long-term prospect.
Jurgen Klopp is clearly convinced he has the potential to step up, and it seems as though those within the club were also hopeful of his brother, Rav—also a centre-back—joining him at the club.
PEC Zwolle announced on Monday that the 15-year-old had agreed his first professional contract, as he makes similar steps to Sepp in breaking through into the first-team setup early.
And according to Zwolle publication De Stentor, Van den Berg rebuffed the interest of Liverpool, along with AC Milan, Ajax and PSV Eindhoven, to do so.
The younger Van den Berg brother is claimed to have “even more talent” than the Reds’ No. 72, and it is likely this will not be the end of the club’s interest in him.
Sepp had signed his first professional contract with PEC Zwolle at the start of 2018, but on the end of his first full season with the first team in 2018/19 decided to make the move to Anfield.
Liverpool paid an initial £1.3 million for the lofty defender, which could rise to £4.4 million, highlighting the importance of sides like PEC Zwolle tying down their most coveted young talents.
De Stentor explain that Rav committing to his current club ensures they are “in control of new attempts by top clubs and a transfer fee can be requested,” as without having put pen to paper he could have left for a nominal fee.
The prospect of two Van den Bergs lining up at the back for Liverpool is an interesting one, with a young Dutch core forming on Merseyside already with Ki-Jana Hoever also in the ranks.
But for now they could be forced to wait, with time on Rav’s side as he attempts to make his breakthrough on the same stage that allowed Sepp to find his feet.