Five Premier League clubs – Liverpool, Villa, West Ham, Sheffield United and Brighton – are linked with Genk’s Champions League star Sander Berge.

Genk are preparing for life without West Ham United and Aston Villa target Sander Berge, according to reports in Belgium, with UFA star Daniil Fomin lined up to replace the Norwegian powerhouse.

The reigning Jupiler League winners have endured a miserable season to date and, while sitting eighth in the table and flopping in the Champions League, they are now facing up to the prospect of seeing their squad picked apart.

Star striker Mbwana Samatta and rampaging right-back Joekim Maehle continue to be linked with a move away and Berge, one of Europe’s most coveted young midfielders, is not short of suitors either.

According to Bleacher Report in December, West Ham were leading the race for the £20 million-rated playmaker, who also has admirers at Aston Villa, Brighton and Sheffield United. Genk’s sporting director, Dimitri De Conde, also admitted that Liverpool have been in touch with regards to a player who left Jurgen Klopp smitten (FootNews).

And Voetbal Primeur reports that Hannes Wolf’s side are now planning for life without Berge. Russia U21 international Fomin is likely to be his successor, with Sportbox having first broke the news earlier in the week.

It remains to be seen where Berge ends up, however.

Aston Villa have already landed Danny Drinkwater on loan from Chelsea while links with Liverpool have quietened down with the Premier League leaders likely to do most of their business over the summer instead.

West Ham, meanwhile, may now make a renewed effort to bring Berge to the London Stadium with top target Gedson Fernandes seemingly on his way to bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

In other news, Report: Everton and Leicester bid for £23m man Matthaus called 'the best I've seen'