Liverpool were reported to have set a sizeable price tag for Nat Phillips ahead of a permanent exit, but one source suggests their stance may have changed.
Phillips is one of a handful of players tipped to depart Anfield this summer, as part of a reshuffle that has already seen Divock Origi among those to leave.
This comes after a standout loan at Bournemouth in the second half of the season, with the newly promoted side credited with an interest in a permanent deal for the 25-year-old.
That seems the ideal scenario for a player who has outgrown the role of fifth choice and, having experienced regular first-team football at Dean Court, will almost certainly be eager to push on next season.
But according to the Liverpool Echo, there is a chance the club will reconsider selling Phillips and instead loan him out again for 2022/23.
It is claimed that Liverpool are “weighing up whether a full departure this summer may be hasty,” as they “could have a potential long-term replacement option for Joel Matip on their hands.”
Bournemouth are “almost certain” to sign Phillips either way, the report adds, with another seven-figure loan fee likely to be brokered if another temporary deal is sanctioned.
The Cherries paid an initial £1.5 million to secure the Englishman’s services on a half-season deal in January, with a further £250,000 paid upon their promotion from the Championship.
That may be a more beneficial route for Liverpool, particularly as further success in the Premier League would only boost Phillips’ value.
Furthermore, in the event he does stay at Anfield long term, the experience would aid his development.
But it seems highly unlikely this will be the case, despite Phillips extending his contract with the Reds until 2025 last summer, as he is already 25 and requires a permanent home to establish himself.