Liverpool are reportedly keen to sign Sander Berge this summer, 14 months after Jurgen Klopp’s side decided against making a bid for Sheffield United’s £22 million record signing, according to the Star.
Klopp and Berge go back quite a way.
According to Estadio Deportivo, the Premier League champions sent scouts to watch the Norway international on a number of occasions in the autumn of 2017, when Berge was still a teenager looking to make a name for himself over in Belgium.
Two years later, after Genk gave Liverpool a scare on their hallowed Anfield turf during the Champions League group-stages, Klopp made sure to tell the 6ft 5ins midfielder exactly what he thought of him.
“You are an interesting player, a very interesting player,” said Klopp, much to Berge’s delight (VG).
For whatever reason, Liverpool decided against rivalling Sheffield United for the 23-year-old’s signature when he sealed a £22 million move to Bramall Lane in January 2000.
The Star claims that no bid ever arrived from the red half of Merseyside.
Why, is anyone’s guess.
Maybe they felt that Berge needed time to hone his talents away from the pressure and the expectation of Anfield. Sheffield United could offer the ex-Valerenga starlet access to the kind of regular first-team football that would have been impossible to guarantee in Liverpool’s star-studded midfield.
But, with Liverpool weighing up an offer for their long-time transfer target just 14 months later, Berge has obviously done enough in his 27 top-flight appearances to prove he is ready to fight for a place in Klopp’s engine room.
Perhaps the impending departure of Gini Wijnaldum convinced the Reds to take a punt on a player they have been watching since the very beginning.
Berge to Liverpool would be a transfer four years in the making. Sometimes, patience really is a virtue.