Liverpool have reportedly changed their stance on the future of Nat Phillips, although Bournemouth still hope to land him.
Phillips made three appearances for Liverpool last season before deciding to join Bournemouth on loan. He had fallen down the pecking order at Anfield and was looking to pick up more regular game time.
The centre-back went on to play 17 Championship matches for Bournemouth. He helped them finish second and ultimately gain promotion back to the Premier League.
Phillips is now back at Liverpool. However, he is unlikely to get into Jurgen Klopp’s thinking for next season.
As much as the German admires Phillips, the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip will keep him out of the side.
Liverpool have been backed to sell 25-year-old Phillips this summer. This would give the defender a chance to find a permanent club where he can play regularly.
But according to Football Insider, who confirm a previous report from the Daily Mirror, the Reds have changed their minds. They no longer want to sell Phillips and will instead allow him to go temporarily, in exchange for a loan fee.
Bournemouth maintain their interest in him, despite the change of heart, and are now in discussions with Liverpool over another loan to the Vitality Stadium. However, the Cherries are yet to start talks with Phillips and his agent.
Nat Phillips wanted in defensive reunion
Bournemouth boss Scott Parker wants Phillips to reunite with last season’s centre-back partner Lloyd Kelly.
They were dominant in the Championship, helping Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers to reach 20 clean sheets in 45 matches.
But it remains to be seen if this partnership has the ability to keep out the Premier League’s best attackers, and ultimately keep Bournemouth in the top flight.
It would be wise for Phillips to link up with Bournemouth again for the coming season. This would give him the chance to impress while playing in the Prem, rather than the Championship.
Plus, another season away from Liverpool would give Reds chiefs the chance to decide if he is really needed on their books. If not, then a permanent move away from Anfield will finally occur.
Meanwhile, a pundit believes one Liverpool transfer decision is bigger than Manchester City’s capture of Erling Haaland.