Liverpool will recall centre-back Rhys Williams from a loan spell at Swansea to allow Nat Phillips to leave on a permanent deal, according to a report.
Williams, 20, moved to South Wales in the summer following a raft of changes to the Reds’ back line. Firstly, he became a key player in Liverpool’s defence last season amid their defensive injury nightmare.
However, his game time decreased when Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all returned from injury.
What’s more, Ibrahima Konate arrived for £36million from RB Leipzig to beef up manager Jurgen Klopp’s options. As such, Phillips stayed on as the fifth-choice centre-back while Williams left on loan.
But a few months on, neither player now finds themselves in the ideal situation. As a result, Liverpool are planning new moves for the duo again.
Indeed, Goal now reports that the Reds want to bring Williams back into Klopp’s squad. He has only played five Championship games for Swansea this season, most recently on December 4.
However, Klopp will not let the centre-back leave on loan to a different club.
Instead, he wants Williams to stick around and act as the club’s fifth-choice centre-back – as Phillips has done this season.
But Phillips, who is four years older than Williams, has proven his worth in the Premier League and now wants regular football at a new club.
The defender has only featured three times for the Reds this term.
Napoli have had strong links with a move for Phillips. However, they added Manchester United centre-back Axel Tuanzebe to their ranks in the end.
What’s more, West Ham have interest in Phillips but ideally want a centre-back who can provide cover on the left.
Liverpool reject Watford, Nat Phillips approach
As such, Goal adds that Watford came forward with an offer for him earlier this month, only for Liverpool to reject the approach.
The Liverpool Echo provides more details on the Reds’ assessment of his value.
Sporting director Michael Edwards values Phillips at £15million, pointing to the £12million Burnley paid Stoke City for Nathan Collins last summer.
Burnley could make a move for the Liverpool man if Newcastle firm up interest in Clarets star James Tarkowski.
In any case, the Liverpool Echo adds that the race to sign Phillips will intensify in the coming days because of Williams’ imminent return to Merseyside.
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