Liverpool and Napoli interested in Berge, says Genk sporting director

The Norway midfielder has come onto the radar of major European clubs and looks set to depart the Belgian top flight sooner rather than later

Liverpool and Napoli are among the sides tracking Genk midfielder Sander Berge the club’s sporting director, Dimitri De Conde, has claimed.

The 21-year-old Norway international has turned out 20 times for the Belgian side so far this season and has featured in every minute of their Champions League campaign to date.

It was during European competition that he caught the eye of the Reds, despite Genk going down 4-1 and 2-1 to the defending champions in their fixtures against the English side. 

Nevertheless, they stand to face stern competition for his signature.

"Napoli are interested in Sander, it's a possibility a deal could be done,” De Conde told Radio Punto Nuovo. “We also know that Liverpool are interested and [Jurgen] Klopp, after the game at Anfield [in the Champions League], complimented him on his performance.

“There are clubs in Italy who are following Berge and Napoli could be one of them, but at this stage there are no offers on the table. From next week, things could change.

“We haven't had any official contact with Napoli yet.”

He does not, however, expect a deal to be completed before the summer.

“Berge to Napoli in January? We don’t know. We are currently fighting for our seasonal goals and we are in a complicated situation,” he explained. “Our intention is to hold on to Sander until the end of the season, but we can’t make any predictions. If the big clubs come knocking at our door, we will have to start negotiations, just as the agent has to do.

“These are situations we can’t predict, we’re focused on our season, hoping to keep Sander until May. Then if a top club like Napoli is serious, we will sit at the same table to negotiate, it is logical.

“The current valuation of Berge? We do not talk about figures; we do not set a price at the moment. We will see when we find ourselves in a negotiation.”

Berge began his career at third-tier outfit Asker in his homeland before moving to Valerenga.

Since then, his rise has been rapid, with two years spent at the Eliteserien outfit before a switch to Belgium in 2017. In his two years in Genk, he has grown from a bit-part bench player into a regular starter, making 40 appearances for the club last season as they won the national league title.

Moreover, he has won 18 caps for Norway and is expected to line up for them against the Faroe Islands in Euro 2020 qualification on Friday. He also boasts a single goal for the national team, grabbing the opener in a 2-0 victory over Malta in Oslo back in September during another qualifier.

He comes from a sporting family, with both his mother and father basketball players. As such, he cuts a rather striking figure in the centre of park, standing at 6'5" tall.