Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been told the perfect addition to his Reds midfield issues is just 36 miles down the road in the form of Manchester City star Kalvin Phillips.
The Reds boss has seen his midfield options dwindle this summer on the back of six exits from his engine room. And while the Merseysiders long planned for the departures of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, Arthur Melo and Naby Keita, the sales of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho came rather more out of the blue.
To address the shortfall, Liverpool quickly brought in both Alexis Mac Allister and new Kop idol, Dominik Szoboszlai. Waturu Endo has also recently been brought in from Stuttgart for a modest £16.2m – but Klopp needs at least one more body before the window slams shut.
To that end, his focus has centred down to three players in Ryan Gravenberch, Kouadio Kone and Cheick Doucoure. Of the three, it is Doucoure, who has been most strongly linked. And while Crystal Palace are reluctant to sell, there is a theory that an offer of £70m would leave them with little choice but to cash in.
As a result, reports on Saturday morning claim Klopp is pushing Liverpool bosses to meet that fee and bring the Palace star to Anfield.
However, of late the Reds have also been linked with a surprise swoop for Phillips. The England star has found game-time hard to come by at Manchester City since a £42m move from Leeds last summer.
As a result, reports of a move to Anfield – potentially even on a season-long loan – have gathered pace in recent days.
And with Phillips in need of more minutes to enhance his prospects of making England’s 2024 European Championships squad, the move has been given a big thumbs up.
Liverpool told to push through Kalvin Phillips transfer swoop
The verdict comes from former Liverpool and City keeper David James, who reckons Phillips is more than good enough to adapt to Klopp’s system at Anfield.
“I believe Kalvin Phillips is a terrific player,” James told GGRecon.
“Initially, the idea of Declan Rice going to Manchester City made perfect sense when you consider how well he and Kalvin play together for England, but obviously that didn’t come to fruition.
“There’s absolutely no reason why Kalvin Phillips wouldn’t fit into that Liverpool side.
“I’m not greatly concerned by his injury record because I seemed to remember him being on the bench most of the time for Manchester City last season. There’s no reason to be worried by his lack of gametime either as that suggests that these players are doing nothing when they’re not playing.
“I can assure you that all players are still as fit as needed and Manchester City have started off flying this season despite only having three pre-season games, so I don’t believe Kalvin will need a lot of time to adjust if he was to make the move to Liverpool.”
Since arriving at the Etihad, Phillips has featured in 21 games for City, though only managed two starts and 291 minutes in the Premier League as he struggled to find a way past Rodri into Pep Guardiola’s midfield.