Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool set to complete first summer signing after beating Bayern to teenage sensation

Jurgen Klopp is hoping to bring in another Dutch defender.
Jurgen Klopp is hoping to bring in another Dutch defender.

Liverpool are set to make their first signing of the summer transfer window after reportedly winning the race to sign Dutch teenager Sepp van den Berg.

The 17-year-old PEC Zwolle defender will undergo a medical with Liverpool on Wednesday, according to The Telegraph. Ajax and Bayern Munich were also interested in signing the highly-rated Dutch U19 international, but Jurgen Klopp's side have been able to secure the young prospect.

Van den Berg made his breakthrough into senior football last year, playing seven games for Zwolle at the tail end of the 17/18 campaign and then making another 16 appearances (15 in the Eredivise) last season.

He played three times for the Netherlands' Under 19 side in March and is expected to be in more of a developmental role in his first season at Anfield.

van den Berg will link up with compatriot and fellow centre-half Ki-Jana Hoever in Liverpool's Under 23s as the pair look to follow Virgil Van Dijk into heroic status at Anfield.

Liverpool have also been linked with Dutch defensive star Matthijs de Ligt, although face stiff competition from PSG, Barcelona, Juventus and Man United for the Ajax star.

One man who likely won't be returning to Anfield is former Red Philippe Coutinho, who is set to leave Barcelona after a disappointing season-and-a-half at the Nou Camp. Writing in the Sunday World, Liverpool legend John Aldridge says he doesn't think the club should break the bank to bring the Brazilian back to Anfield.

"Coutinho left on a sour note as he forced his way out of the club and while he is a great player, I don't think Liverpool should blow their transfer budget on bringing him back," said Aldridge.

"None of us have forgotten that Coutinho left Liverpool in a difficult position when he jumped ship mid-way through the season, so we should not give him a simple route back to play for the European champions.

"We all trust Klopp in whatever decisions he makes, but I think adding attacking a top quality attacking option would be the way forward this summer."

Aldridge believes Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha could be on Liverpool's shopping list, as he suggested the Ivory Coast star could be a great addition to Klopp's Champions League winning squad.

"Wilfried Zaha is the one I think he should go for," he added. "With Daniel Sturridge leaving the club and his huge wages coming off the weekly bill, it opens up the opportunity for Klopp to sign an out-and-out goalscorer who could offer something different if one of the front three is injured or out of form.

"Zaha has given Liverpool some real problems in the last couple of years and Klopp's ability to turn talents of his type into consistent performers has to make him the kind of player who could thrive at Anfield."

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