After a breakthrough campaign that saw him play 20 times in all competitions, Nat Phillips could be on the way out of Liverpool, with it claimed the club is open to offers.
Phillips stood up when the Reds needed him this season, returning from a loan spell with Stuttgart in the German second tier to fill in during an injury crisis.
The centre-back was due to join Swansea on loan at the end of the summer transfer window, but with a deal falling through he emerged as a valuable first-team option for Jurgen Klopp.
But with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all due to return from injury, and Ibrahima Konate set to make the switch from RB Leipzig in the coming days, Phillips’ standing is unclear.
It would seem as though the 24-year-old would drop back down to fifth choice, and given his senior experience and the level of his performances in the final weeks of the campaign, this may not reflect his worth.
A summer exit could benefit Phillips if he is to seek a regular starting role, and according to ESPN‘s Julien Laurens – in a report on Konate’s imminent move to Merseyside – Liverpool are “willing to listen to offers” for their No. 47.
The Athletic‘s James Pearce had previously reported that a decision over Phillips’ future “has not yet been made,” though it would be no surprise if he was made available.
It can be argued that Phillips’ value will never be higher, and a summer sale may be the more sensible decision than retaining the former Bolton youngster as backup to Van Dijk, Gomez, Konate and Matip.
He could be an attractive prospect for clubs in the bottom half of the Premier League, and perhaps those just promoted including Norwich and Watford.
The call to opt out of an £18 million purchase clause for Ozan Kabak, however, may suggest that there is still a possibility of Phillips staying at Anfield.
There is no guarantee Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip return to full fitness following their respective injuries, and it may be a gamble to rely on the trio along with Konate next season.
It has already been reported that Rhys Williams would likely leave on loan this summer, while Sepp van den Berg is also expected to head out on another temporary move.
Billy Koumetio, meanwhile, still looks far off the quality required at first-team level, having shown frequent lapses in concentration with the under-18s this season, including in Monday’s FA Youth Cup final.