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Chelsea ready to compete with Liverpool and Napoli for Genk's Berge

9:14 PM GMT+8 18/11/2019
Sander Berge Genk 2019-20
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

Chelsea are keeping tabs on Genk’s Sander Berge, who has also come onto the radar of Liverpool as well as Napoli.

Genk have yet to receive an offer for the 21-year-old, but the highly-rated central midfielder looks set to depart with only 18 months left on his current contract.

The club's sporting director Dimitri De Conde stated recently that there is wide interest in Berge from Serie A clubs as well as the European champions.

"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.”

Genk maintain a close connection with Chelsea having agreed sales for both Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois in the recent past.

Berge, who has 20 caps for Norway, is the Belgian club’s brightest talent and has had experience in the Champions League. He has faced Liverpool and Napoli already this season, admitting over the international break that a move to Jurgen Klopp's side would be a dream come true.

"Playing at Anfield is a dream for everyone in the world, and not least for Norwegians," Berge told TV2. "Liverpool are the best team [at the moment] and have the most fans. ‘So I would certainly like to play at Anfield as often as possible."

Genk are currently transitioning between managers and struggling domestically this season having sacked Felice Mazzu last week.

Chelsea currently have both Billy Gilmour and Charlton Athletic loanee Conor Gallagher coming through in the midfield area, but Goal has learned that they could consider a spot for another young player in the right circumstances. While currently unable to sign any senior players due to a transfer ban, they are nonetheless making plans for when the embargo is lifted.

A Court Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing will take place in Switzerland on Wednesday which could see the ban lifted ahead of the January transfer window. CAS will assess evidence from both Chelsea and FIFA, as the world football governing body defends its decision to impose a two-window transfer ban on the club and reject an appeal for it to be lifted.

An announcement is not expected immediately on Wednesday, but arbitrators are set to make a decision before the transfer window re-opens.

Chelsea are not thought to be desperate to enter the market in January, even if their transfer ban is lifted, as Frank Lampard has made a good start as manager while blooding a host of young homegrown players.

However, they will have a significant transfer budget to spend when they are eventually able to sign new players and are drawing up a shortlist of players in every position.

They are rumoured to be admirers of Leicester’s left-back Ben Chilwell, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner and Lyon forward Moussa Dembele. Bournemouth's Nathan Ake is another player of interest to the Blues and he has a £40 million buyback clause in his deal after being sold in 2017 for £20m.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are also working on new contracts for Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Reece James and Tino Anjorin.