Liverpool remain hopeful of concluding a deal for Dutch defender Sepp van den Berg before the end of the week.
The Reds are currently locked in battle with Bayern Munich over the highly-rated 17-year-old, who made 16 first-team appearances for PEC Zwolle in the Eredivisie last term.
The teenager is also a target for PSV back in his homeland, while Dutch champions and Champions League semi-finalists Ajax are keen.
Sampdoria had a €2.5million rejected in January, but the Reds' biggest competition for Van den Berg comes in the shape of Bundesliga giants Bayern.
The ECHO understands that Liverpool are confident they can conclude a deal for the Dutch teen before the end of the week.
Van den Berg caught the eye last season where he made 16 appearances for Jaap Stam's PEC and honed a burgeoning reputation as one of the most talented youngsters in Holland.
Liverpool scouts have kept closes tabs on his development since he broke into the first team at Zwolle last year and have been hugely impressed by his displays.
The Reds see Van den Berg as a signing for the future, but feel his ceiling is high enough to see him fast-tracked into the fold under Jurgen Klopp.
It means Van den Berg could join up with Liverpool's first team immediately rather than continuing his progress with the club's Academy players at Kirkby.
The strong competition surrounding Van den Berg means his signature will be celebrated in the corridors of power at the club, with Anfield officials convinced he can develop into a top-class defender for years to come.
Chief scout Barry Hunter and head of recruitment Dave Fallows have been instrumental behind ensuring Liverpool have headed the pack above Bayern and Ajax in their attempts to land the exciting defensive prospect.
It's believed Van den Berg is viewed inside the club at a similar level to Joe Gomez's four years ago when the Reds paid Charlton £3.5m to land him as an England U19 international.
A series of long-term injuries stunted Gomez's progress somewhat, but the Three Lions international enjoyed a fine first-half of last season alongside Virgil van Dijk before suffering a leg fracture against Burnley in December.
At a time when Van Dijk is widely recognised as one of the world's best centre-backs and 19-year-old Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt is being linked to Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, the Reds are aware of how Dutch football is continuing to produce high-quality centre-halves.
Van den Berg could become the second teenage Dutchman on the books after the the Reds brought the promising Ki-Jana Hoever to the club in September 2018.
Versatile defender Hoever made his senior debut for Klopp's Reds in a 2-1 defeat to Wolves in the FA Cup in January and was one of the side's standout performers on the night at Molineux.
Source: Liverpool Echo
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