2TAXXHR Mainz, Germany . 03rd Dec, 2023. MAINZ, GERMANY - DECEMBER 3: Sepp van den Berg of 1.FSV Mainz 05 in action during the Bundesliga Football match between 1. FSV Mainz 05 and SC Freiburg at MEWA Arena on December 3, 2023 in Mainz, Germany. (Photo by Dan O' Connor/ATPImages) (O'CONNOR Dan/ATP/SPP) Credit: SPP Sport Press Photo. /Alamy Live News

Club chief hints at why Liverpool transfer talks for defender are dragging on

Liverpool defender Sepp van den Berg is attracting plenty of interest and his loan club, Mainz, are eager to get a deal done, but their transfer chief noted why it is taking time.

This Is Anfield understands the young Dutch defender is valued at £20 million this summer amid interest from Brentford, Southampton and Jurgen Klopp‘s former club Mainz.

Van den Berg has not played for Liverpool since 2020, and in a recent interview with De Telegraaf spoke of how the club “have not radiated confidence in” him but “still want to hinder” his future.

With no progress on any deal, Mainz sporting director, Christian Heidel, offered Sky Deutschland a brief update on Van den Berg’s situation, which is influenced by Liverpool’s internationals.

Heidel said, as quoted by Fussball Transfers: “We’re waiting. We’ve been in contact with Liverpool several times.

“When Liverpool starts training, there won’t be a central defender there because they’re all spread out at the European Championships and the Copa America and then they want to take a look and take their time.”

2RWF3PX Mainz's Sepp van den Berg during a German Bundesliga soccer match between FSV Mainz 05 and VfB Stuttgart in Mainz, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

The Reds, of course, will have Jarell Quansah on the first day of pre-season, but they will be without Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate, reducing their senior centre-back ranks significantly.

Understandably, the club want Van den Berg to return before making a final call on his future, with Arne Slot keen to take a look at as many players as possible early on.

Van den Berg is expected to move on, but the timing of any deal will be to Liverpool’s liking even though they will know the player’s stance.

“Sepp has made it clear that he would really like to stay in Mainz,” Heidel added. “We would really like to keep him, now Liverpool have to play along too.

“We’re giving Liverpool the time and we’re taking the time.”

Van den Berg has spent the last three seasons on loan, first with Preston in the Championship before settling in Germany with Schalke before heading to Mainz in 2023/24.