LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 31, 2022: Liverpool'sSepp van den Berg during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and RC Strasbourg Alsace at Anfield. Strasbourg won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool defender open to permanent exit with contract clause revealed

Sepp van den Berg hasn’t ruled out the possibility of making a permanent departure from Anfield this summer, with reports of a purchase option being available at his loan club.

The defender has joined Mainz on a 12-month deal after his temporary spell at Schalke last season was hampered by injuries.

Jurgen Klopp‘s former club hinted earlier this month at the possibility of Van den Berg remaining in the Bundesliga beyond his season-long loan, adding that terms between the clubs will stay “undisclosed” for the time being.

2K0PA8H Gelsenkirchen, Germany. 10th Sep, 2022. Soccer: Bundesliga, FC Schalke 04 - VfL Bochum, Matchday 6, Veltins Arena: Schalke's Sepp van den Berg gives instructions. Credit: David Inderlied/dpa - IMPORTANT NOTE: In accordance with the requirements of the DFL Deutsche FuBball Liga and the DFB Deutscher FuBball-Bund, it is prohibited to use or have used photographs taken in the stadium and/or of the match in the form of sequence pictures and/or video-like photo series./dpa/Alamy Live News

Bild have since reported that the 21-year-old isn’t against the idea of turning his loan switch away from Liverpool into something more long-term.

Having already experienced a year in Germany’s top flight, Van den Berg admitted that he “can imagine” remaining at Mainz for longer than the year that has been agreed so far and that it is “difficult” to secure regular playing time at Anfield.

“I like Germany and the Bundesliga. Of course I can imagine not staying in Mainz just for one season,” the centre-back told the German publication.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 6, 2022: Liverpool's Sepp van den Berg runs out of the tunnel before the the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Liverpool are a great club, perhaps the largest in the world. But at the same time, it is also difficult to assert yourself there.”

Bild also reported earlier this month that deal to bring Van den Berg to the club on loan has a buy option attached to it.

It means that the German side have the choice to sign the Dutchman on a permanent basis should his latest loan move be a successful one.

Van den Berg has made just four senior appearances for Liverpool, all of which came in the domestic cup competitions during the title-winning season of 2019/20.

SINGAPORE - Friday, July 15, 2022: Liverpool's Sepp van den Berg during the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at the Singapore National Stadium. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

He suffered a further injury setback this summer to case doubt over his future plans, but was able to secure a third loan spell to follow his previous stints at Schalke and Preston.

The centre-back appears to have made a full recovery from the muscle tear he sustained while at the U21 Euros with the Netherlands, with Mainz confirming on their official website that he has returned to the training pitch with his new teammates.

The defender will head back to the Bundesliga hoping for a clean bill of health in order to kickstart his career once again, be that at Anfield or elsewhere.