SAALFELDEN, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, July 26, 2022: Liverpool's Sepp van den Berg arrives on a bicycle before a training session at during the club's pre-season training camp in Austria. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arne Slot could promote another player to first team as Liverpool reject bids

With Arne Slot taking a close look at the squad already at his disposal before any new signings arrive at Liverpool, defender Sepp van den Berg has caught his eye.

Sat alongside Slot for his first press conference as head coach, sporting director Richard Hughes suggested it would be a quiet month in the transfer market.

With the Dutchman beginning work with his new squad at the end of last week – and with a host of key names still absent – time will be taken to assess the options already available to him.

READ: Who are the 19 youngsters included at start of Liverpool pre-season?

Adrian‘s departure to Real Betis has led to reports that 22-year-old goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros will be promoted to the first-team squad in his place.

And now, The Athletic‘s James Pearce reports that Van den Berg has made an early impression on Slot, which will lead to an extended audition in pre-season.

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

Liverpool have already rejected bids from Bundesliga sides Mainz and Wolfsburg, with a price tag of £20 million set for a player with two years left on his contract.

Pearce reports that Slot and his staff “believe the defender’s technical ability went up a level during his time in Germany,” having spent two seasons on loan at Schalke and Mainz.

Van den Berg posted the highest average speed of any player to take part in Liverpool’s initial six-minute race tests at the AXA, and is “set to be handed the chance to shine in pre-season.”

That comes with Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez all absent as the Reds continue preparations ahead of the tour of the United States.

All three of those centre-backs will miss the start of the tour at the very least having reached the semi-finals of Euro 2024 with Netherlands, France and England respectively.

Jarell Quansah is the only other first-team centre-back currently working under Slot this summer, with Nat Phillips involved but expected to leave.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 31, 2022: Liverpool's Sepp 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)

It is likely that Van den Berg will feature heavily in the clashes with Real Betis, Arsenal and Man United, then, and it appears that he has a chance of cementing himself in the new head coach’s plans.

Of course, the player himself has already expressed a desire to leave Liverpool this summer, telling De Telegraaf in June that “[they] haven’t radiated confidence in me all this time, but [they] do want to hinder my future.”

READ: Liverpool trio left out of pre-season plans ahead of likely summer transfers

But with a change in the dugout and a new opportunity laid out for him, he could feasibly change his mind over a stay on Merseyside.

If an offer in the region of £20 million lands in Hughes’ in-tray, though, Liverpool themselves could face a tougher decision as they weigh up other centre-back targets such as Leny Yoro.