Nat Phillips is the subject of interest from four Premier League clubs, with Liverpool looking for at least £12 million for the centre-back after his breakthrough season.
Phillips made 20 appearances for the Reds in the campaign just gone, having been close to a permanent switch to Swansea worth in the region of £4 million last October.
It was a surprise step up for the centre-back, who filled in admirably as Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson and Ozan Kabak all suffered injuries.
Such was his form at the heart of Jurgen Klopp‘s defence that a debate has been held over whether to capitalise on his rise in value or keep him at Anfield beyond the transfer window.
Interest from Newcastle, Southampton and in particular Brighton and Burnley will force Liverpool’s hand in that regard, with Goal‘s Neil Jones reporting on the situation.
Jones claims that Liverpool “would be reluctant sellers,” but “there is a deal to be done if the price is right,” with the player “open to the idea of moving on.”
The price tag is set at around £12 million, with Jones pointing to Adam Webster (£20m, 2019), Ben Godfrey (£25m, 2020), Ben Gibson (£15m, 2018) and Alfie Mawson (£15m, 2018) as centre-back moves the club see as “comparable” to any involving their No. 47.
Burnley have long been touted as an ideal destination for Phillips, and while the Telegraph‘s John Percy reports that the Clarets have agreed a fee for Stoke centre-back Nathan Collins, Jones insists “that move would not affect any potential bid.”
It is easy to see Phillips thriving in the back line of any of Newcastle, Southampton or Brighton, too, given their contrast in defensive styles compared to Liverpool.
While the Bolton academy graduate performed well for the Reds last season, there has always been a sense that he was playing outside of his comfort zone as a defender, with his lack of pace seeing him struggle at times in a high line.
For Liverpool, the prospect of raising around £12 million for a player who would have brought in less than a third of that under a year ago can be seen as great business.
Similar is Neco Williams, who is expected to move for £10 million later in the summer, with Burnley and Southampton also among those interested in the right-back.
Last summer, the Reds were able to sell youngsters Rhian Brewster and Ki-Jana Hoever for a combined £37 million, while Ryan Kent (£7.5m) and Rafa Camacho (£7m) brought in sizeable fees in 2019.