Premier League • England

Liverpool ready to gift Klopp ‘incredible’ January addition after U-turn on Celtic transfer

Liverpool loanee Nat Phillips at Celtic

Liverpool are considering terminating a failed transfer involving Celtic that would solve a nagging problem in Jurgen Klopp’s squad, per a report.

The Reds are once again back among the title contenders after successfully overhauling their sub-par midfield over the summer.

Virgil van Dijk looks back to his best at the back, while Mohamed Salah remains the most potent winger in the Premier League despite his advancing age.

Positive signs are dotted all across the pitch for Liverpool who remain on the hunt for four trophies. They’ve already secured safe passage to the Last 16 of the Europa League and will be hot favourites to see off West Ham in the quarter-finals of the League Cup at Anfield.

However, one concern has arisen through the season-ending injury suffered by Joel Matip.

The veteran centre-half, 32, suffered a ruptured ACL in the 4-3 victory over Fulham just over one week ago. Surgery is required and Matip’s season is over.

Klopp still has plenty of wriggle room at centre-back. Indeed, the emergence of Jarell Quansah has seen the 20-year-old join Joe Gomez as back-ups to Ibrahima Konate and Van Dijk.

However, Quansah is inexperienced and Gomez is often required to cover both full-back positions. An injury to either of Van Dijk and Konate could seriously scupper Liverpool’s season.

Talk of a January move to offset any potential disaster has done the rounds. Sporting’s Goncalo Inacio and Marc Guehi of Crystal Palace are confirmed transfer targets. But according to the Mirror, Liverpool could look within.

Nat Phillips to get another Liverpool chance?

They state Liverpool are ‘considering recalling Nat Phillips from his loan spell at Celtic’ as a direct result of Matip’s crushing injury blow.

Phillips, 26, was sent on a six-month loan to the Scottish champions over the summer. But despite the fact he’s in line to return to Anfield in January, it’s suggested Liverpool could cut the move short and recall the defender immediately.

There has been talk of Celtic potentially attempting to negotiate longer terms until the end of the 2023/24 season. However, the Mirror claim Liverpool could kibosh any such attempts and bring Phillips back on board.

The centre-back hasn’t impressed in Glasgow anyway and has been limited to just eight appearances across all competitions.

As such, it doesn’t appear Celtic will be particularly disappointed if Phillips does play out the remainder of the season in England.

Rhys Williams another option

The Mirror also tout the possibility of Liverpool cutting Rhys Williams’ loan at Aberdeen short.

Williams signed up for the full year at Aberdeen, though is not getting a look-in at Pittodrie.

Recalling one – or even both – of the centre-halves is labelled a ‘wise move’ for Liverpool by the Mirror.

Either player would provide depth in the position and both became unlikely Liverpool heroes during an injury crisis in the 2020/21 campaign.

With Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip all sidelined, Williams, Phillips and loanee Ozan Kabak steadied the ship and helped Liverpool win eight of their last 10 league matches to guarantee Champions League qualification.

Klopp said of Phillips and Williams at the time: “These two boys, playing like that, it is incredible, absolutely incredible.

“That was a proper crash course in a Premier League education, and they have learned so much. It’s a sign for all our kids at Liverpool in the academy.

“It’s possible – it shows it’s possible… just work hard. These boys they are obviously not skilled like crazy, they had to work incredibly hard. And now they are proper, proper Premier League players. And that’s exactly how it can work. I am really happy for them.”

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