Jurgen Klopp admits it is “not the luckiest moment” for Nat Phillips to get injured, three weeks before the January transfer window, but insists it will not block a move.
Phillips is set to miss the rest of the year with a fractured cheekbone suffered in the 2-1 win over AC Milan, with Klopp expecting him to return in “four or five weeks.”
The injury rules Liverpool’s No. 47 out for the upcoming string of clashes with Aston Villa, Newcastle, Tottenham, Leicester, Leeds, Leicester and Chelsea, and probably the FA Cup third-round tie against Shrewsbury.
In all likelihood, Phillips has played his last game for the club, with Klopp already acknowledging that he is available for transfer in January.
Newcastle and West Ham are among the sides interested, though there could be concerns over Phillips’ fitness as both clubs are in urgent need of a centre-back who could come in and start immediately.
But with the 24-year-old still in non-contact training to maintain his fitness, Klopp believes there should be no issues, with Liverpool certainly not looking to “block anything.”
“I’m very happy that Nat is here, to be honest,” he told reporters on Friday.
“But, how I said, we will not block anything – I think, at least, it’s not the plan anymore. But who knows what happens until January, then we would talk completely new.
“It’s of course not the luckiest moment for this, but by the end of January he will be completely fine, definitely – or probably in the middle of January, I don’t know exactly.
“So we will see that it will be completely fine. It’s not complicated, it’s just not cool.
“We will see what that means exactly, but in the long term, it’s no problem. Everything will be fine for Nat, definitely.”