Premier League • England

Player stranded under Jurgen Klopp as European suitors turn their noses up at Liverpool man despite January interest

Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool during the FA Cup match between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool at the City Ground, Nottingham

Liverpool defender Nat Phillips appears to be stuck at Anfield after one of the main clubs who have been pursuing his signature reportedly ended their interest.

Phillips spent the second half of last season on loan at Bournemouth. He made 17 Championship appearances for the Cherries, helping them to finish second in the league and secure a return to the top flight.

Surprisingly, the centre-back did not leave Liverpool on a permanent basis last summer. That is despite him being way down on Jurgen Klopp’s pecking order.

It comes as little surprise that Phillips has barely featured this term. He has managed just five outings in all competitions, with two of those coming in the league. Overall, in the Prem he has appeared for just 66 minutes.

Phillips was once again tipped to leave Liverpool on January 25. The Daily Mail claimed that Klopp had decided to sell him, with a bid of around £8million necessary for a deal to be struck.

Despite links with former loan club Bournemouth, as well as West Ham, Phillips stayed put. Due to this, his time warming the bench will continue for the remainder of the season.

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German outlet Bild now provide a report which looks at Phillips’ future and how he could have gone to Germany.

They claim Hertha Berlin were looking into signing the 25-year-old during the winter window. They were hunting for a replacement for Agustin Rogel in the aftermath of his knee injury and landed on Phillips.

Liverpool outcast still at Anfield after Klopp blocks exit

Hertha began talks with Liverpool to see if they could loan Phillips. However, Klopp blocked the move due to an injury to Ibrahima Konate. He thought Phillips might need to be called upon amid Liverpool’s busy schedule.

In the end, that did not really happen, but Klopp cannot be blamed for trying to protect his defensive options after what happened in the 2020-21 campaign.

Hertha were ultimately unsuccessful in taking Phillips to the Olympiastadion. They instead began eyeing him up as a potential summer recruit.

But Bild state that Hertha chiefs have since changed their minds. They think it would be beneficial to focus on homegrown talent rather than players featuring in other countries.

As such, rather than sign Phillips, 19-year-old Linus Gechter will be brought into the fold once he returns from a temporary spell at Eintracht Braunschweig.

Hertha’s decision to snub Phillips could leave him stuck at Liverpool for another season. No clubs other than Hertha are seriously looking at him as things stand.

The Bolton-born star will be desperate for a team to come in and sign him so he can play more regularly. He will be hopeful of a permanent deal too, so he can settle somewhere and not have to rely on loans.

Phillips appears comfortable playing for a Championship team or a top-flight side near the bottom of the table. Should he achieve such a move, then he would likely impress.

It must be noted that Klopp likes Phillips a lot. The manager just cannot play him as often as he would like due to Konate, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez being in the squad.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have been given a huge triple boost in their pursuit of a world-class player.