Nat Phillips is open to a Liverpool departure in search of regular senior action that is not available to him at Anfield, and he is eager for a deal that “suits everyone.”
The 24-year-old played a pivotal role in steering Liverpool’s ship back on course last season but has had to move back to the periphery as Jurgen Klopp‘s first-choice starters returned.
Phillips was expected to depart in the summer but in a COVID hit market and Liverpool cautious of another injury curse at the back, he remained and signed a new four-year deal.
But with the January window now around the corner and after just three senior appearances, Phillips is ready to seek a new challenge and has Liverpool’s blessing.
“I want to be playing games. It’s been tough because the competition to get in this team is fierce,” Phillips told Sky Sports.
“The manager and I agree that the best thing for me is to play as many games as possible. I think you saw last year I developed well.
“I’m going to see what comes along [in January] and go from there.
“I think at this moment in time it’s unlikely that I’ll be playing lots of games for Liverpool, so if an opportunity arises where I get the chance to do that somewhere else and it suits everyone then it’s certainly something I’d be interested in.
“I don’t need to go through that process if I do go somewhere else. I’ll be ready straight away to get involved and play.”
Likewise, Newcastle are in need of centre-back reinforcements and have been claimed to be interested in Phillips – and the Reds would certainly not object to a bidding war of sorts.
The centre-back is currently out of action with a fractured cheekbone but is expected to return in the New Year with surgery not required and, therefore, not putting a move in doubt.
Prior to the win over Aston Villa, Klopp insisted that “we will not block anything” for Phillips and that “everything will be fine for Nat, definitely.”