Newcastle chasing £15m target Steve Bruce wanted in summer

Date published: Wednesday 1st December 2021 9:32 - Matthew Briggs

Jordan Henderson being substituted for Nat Phillips in front of Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool defender Nathaniel Phillips reportedly remains a target for Newcastle United despite a change of manager and boardroom on Tyneside.

Eddie Howe is now in situ in the North East and he is on the lookout for new recruits to bolster his squad. Tuesday night’s draw with Norwich did not help their cause at the foot of the table. They are six points adrift of safety and Howe is desperate to improve a defence which has shipped in 30 goals.

And the Telegraph report, Howe has targeted 24-year-old centre-back Phillips.

Phillips has yet to make an appearance in the Premier League and in fact has made the bench only three times. He has made a handful of appearances in the cups, but his first-team options look slim.

He was a valued member of Jurgen Klopp’s squad last season when injuries hit the Anfield club hard.

Phillips made 17 Premier League appearances with Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez out injured. But with Van Dijk and Matip back in action, Phillips has been redundant.

He is under contract until 2025, but after getting a taste of first-team action last season it would no doubt relish another chance somewhere else.

Newcastle made contact over signing Phillips in the summer, while Steve Bruce was in charge. However, Phillips was reluctant to leave and Liverpool were demanding a £15m fee, according to The Athletic.


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Phillips value

That value has no doubt dropped since with no game time for the player.

 

Phillips was hoping to get a chance to impress Klopp again this season. But the £36m signing of Ibrahima Konate put paid to that.

But Phillips is still a Klopp favourite and is likely to be called upon in cup competitions.

In an interview with Metro, Phillips said: “The manager, for me personally, has been such a big help in every aspect he possibly could have since I got into the first team.

“Years ago, when I was trying to get a loan move away from the club to get matches, Stuttgart came to fruition for me because the manager wasn’t satisfied with the other options that came up and he went out of his way to sort the situation out. He has always done his best for me.”

READ MORE: Newcastle hit with reality check as title-winning target set to slam shut hopes

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