Liverpool have rebuffed a £7million offer for Nat Phillips from an unnamed Premier League club, according to reports. The towering centre-back, who has earned the nickname ‘the Bolton Baresi’ in some quarters courtesy of his heroic performances last season, is free to leave Anfield this month at the right price.
Phillips’ presence and reliability proved essential in helping Liverpool limp over the line in the race for Champions League football last season.
Injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and even makeshift centre-backs Jordan Henderson and Fabinho saw Phillips thrust into contention.
He did not disappoint, forming an impressive partnership with young Rhys Williams to help Liverpool secure third in the Premier League table.
But the return of Liverpool’s centre-backs and signing of Ibrahima Konate has pushed him way down the pecking order on Merseyside.
“I want to be playing games. It’s been tough because the competition to get in this team is fierce,” he said.
“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’ve had the exposure and experience in the Premier League and the Champions League. So maybe those situations where you’re new and nervy, I’ve gone through that phase.
“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.”
Phillips impressed in December when he helped Liverpool beat AC Milan at the San Siro to make it six wins from six in the group of death.
The no-nonsense centre-back caught the eye with a brilliant turn in his own box that sent three AC Milan players for a hot-dog.
Unfortunately for Phillips, he fractured his cheekbone during the contest and has not featured for the Reds since.