LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 15, 2022: Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Southampton make move for Nat Phillips but Liverpool “reluctant” to sell

Liverpool are said to have fielded a deadline day approach from Southampton for centre-back Nat Phillips, but are “reluctant to let him go” at this stage.

The move comes after Aston Villa reportedly agreed to sign Saints centre-back Jan Bednarek on a one-year loan deal.

According to the Athletic‘s David Ornstein, that move has seen Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side make a move for Phillips, but Liverpool are not willing to allow the centre-back to depart.

They may had been more receptive to a move had Sepp van den Berg not completed a temporary switch to Schalke earlier this week.

Many expected both Phillips and Van den Berg to move on this summer, but with Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate both picking up injuries in the early stages of the season, the club have seemingly decided to keep a fifth-choice centre-back option at the club.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 6, 2022: Liverpool's Sepp van den Berg runs out of the tunnel before the the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That option looks to be Phillips, who started the Reds’ 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace alongside Virgil van Dijk last month, when Matip, Konate and Joe Gomez were all sidelined.

The Bolton-born defender spent the second half of last season on loan at Bournemouth, helping them gain promotion to the Premier League under Scott Parker.

The Cherries, though, have not returned with another offer for Phillips, with Parker claiming his signature would have been a “difficult one” to secure this summer, before he was sacked earlier this week.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 31, 2022: Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips during the pre-match warm-up before a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and RC Strasbourg Alsace at Anfield. Strasbourg won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Southampton have been tentatively linked with a move for Phillips in the past, and it’s unclear whether their approach was with a view to a loan or permanent offer.

Had they expressed an interest before Liverpool’s injury problems, things may have been different!