Liverpool have concurred terms to sign the highly rated Dutch defender Sepp van den Berg from PEC Zwolle, who says he thought the club’s methodology “was a joke”.
The 17-year-old centre-back, who was coveted by Ajax and Bayern Munich this summer, will cost the Champions League victors an initial £1.3m. The expense could ascend to £4.4m should he make a substantial number of Premier League and European appearances.
Van den Berg isn’t being signed as an academy player by Liverpool however as a youthful ability who can be created at first-team level under Jürgen Klopp. His is the first deal struck by Liverpool this transfer window and he will finish his proceed onward 1 July.
Speaking to Liverpool’s website, Van den Berg stated: “It’s just amazing. It is, for me, the biggest club in the world and it’s a dream come true. I am really excited.
“I couldn’t believe it, I thought it was a joke. To be honest, I was a little bit scared at first because such a big club had interest in me. I think this is the best place for me to grow and hopefully play a lot of games here.
“I’ve seen what kind of players from the Academy have grown into the first team. [Klopp] is a great guy and one of the reasons they are successful – and also one of the reasons I came here. I was thinking about [the idea of] training with Virgil [van Dijk]. For me he is the best defender in the world right now, so I can learn a lot from him.”