Liverpool have been urged to raid Manchester City for a player Pep Guardiola secretly hopes will leave the club, and the move would free up a Reds star to take Anfield by storm, per reports.
Liverpool revamped their midfield over the summer, signing four new stars outright to replace the mass of players that left.
Naby Keita (Werder Bremen), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Besiktas) and James Milner (Brighton) all departed as free agents. Jordan Henderson and Fabinho were successfully lured to the burgeoning Saudi Pro League.
The option to buy in Arthur Melo’s loan was ignored, while Fabio Carvalho joined RB Leipzig on loan. Youngsters Leighton Clarkson (Aberdeen) and Tyler Morton (Hull City – loan) also made way.
But of Liverpool’s new quartet (Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Gravenberch, Endo), only Wataru Endo – who is arguably the least high profile of the crop – is a specialist holding midfielder.
As such, Jurgen Klopp has regularly fielded Alexis Mac Allister out of position in the deeper role this season. It’s a task Mac Allister has dutifully taken on board, though it cannot be argued it’s placing limitations on his game.
Mac Allister thrived for Argentina during the World Cup in a more advanced role on the left side of midfield. The prospect of using Mac Allister that way at Liverpool while Dominik Szoboszlai raids down the right is an enticing one.
However, Klopp must either place his faith in Endo or make another new signing at the base of midfield before Mac Allister can be unleashed. To that end, an opportunity involving Man City appears to be opening up.
Indeed, Football Transfers recently reported Man City gave Kalvin Phillips the green light to leave the club over the summer. An exit did not materialise despite Pep Guardiola reportedly ‘hoping’ it would.
Phillips’ spell at the Etihad since joining from Leeds United back in 2022 has been underwhelming to say the least. Arguably his biggest issue is the presence of Rodri who may well be the best holding midfielder in world football at present.
Now, when running the rule over Phillips’ future, talkSPORT pair Andy Goldstein and Darren Bent suggested Liverpool should make a move and rescue Phillips.
‘Disciplined’ Phillips can unlock true Mac Allister potential
Goldstein initially asked his co-presenter: “Do you think that if Kalvin Phillips went to Liverpool to make up that midfield, they would be a much better team because then you’re allowing players like Mac Allister to have free reign?”
“Yeah, potentially,” replied Bent. “Because I think Kalvin Phillips would be disciplined enough to just sit there and know his role.”
When asked categorically if signing Phillips makes Liverpool stronger, Bent added: “Yeah, because he’s a good player.
“He’s not going to make them weaker. It makes them stronger because Mac Allister would then move into his more natural position.”
Liverpool clearly have cash to splash in 2024 if their £110m bid for Moises Caicedo late in the summer window is anything to go by.
The Reds ultimately went on to sign Ryan Gravenberch when Chelsea plucked Caicedo, though the Dutchman cost a far more modest £34m.
Phillips seemingly has the green light to leave City and Liverpool do appear to have a need at holding midfield. Whether Guardiola would sell to their biggest rival of the past five years is another matter entirely.