Sander Berge could be on his way to Premier League champions Liverpool from Belgian giants KRC Genk.
When it comes to signing players just as they are on the verge of becoming household names all over Europe, Liverpool are masters of the art.
Just look through their Champions League winning squad from last season. Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, even Alisson Becker – these players were all highly rated when they moved to Anfield of course, but hardly the established world-class talents they would become under Jurgen Klopp.
The added advantage to signing a player teetering upon super-stardom is that they don’t often break the bank either. Alisson and Van Dijk might have cost a pretty penny but, in just over a year, their already eye-watering price-tags have doubled at least. Salah, Mane, Firmino and Fabinho, meanwhile, all cost less than £40 million.
And take Sander Berge, the powerful Norwegian midfielder who has caught Liverpool’s eye. According to The Mail, Genk’s 6ft 4ins enforcer is valued at £25 million – a bargain in this day and age for a player who has already got a domestic title under his belt, over 20 international caps, and a couple of superb performances in the Champions League.
Jurgen Klopp complimented Berge’s typically assured display in Genk’s defeat at Anfield earlier this month, according to VG, calling him a ‘very interesting player’. And the Belgian side’s own sporting director, Dimitri de Conde, has admitted to FootNews that The Reds are indeed ‘interested’ in a player who has been linked on and off with a move to Anfield for at least two years.
The Kings of Europe do their homework diligently before making any signing (the days of ill-fated panic buys, the Andy Carrolls and Mario Balotellis are long gone) and Berge is, in many ways, a typical signing for a modern-day Liverpool.
He’s young, hungry, blessed with massive potential, and a valuation which will no doubt soar in the years to come. Liverpool might be set to make another inspired bargain signing at precisely the right time in his career.