Interest in an exit-bound Liverpool hero is mounting, with one club’s pursuit in particular likely to aid Arsenal on their transfer front if a deal can be made.
Liverpool were on the brink of a truly disastrous season last year amid a wretched injury crisis. Their central defensive ranks were decimated, though the unlikely figures of Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak steadied the ship.
Phillips in particular drew acclaim for his manful displays. However, there is little room for sentiment in football.
With Ibrahima Konate already acquired and the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez returning from the treatment table, Phillips is once again facing up to the prospect of severely restricted gametime.
The 24-year-old is fully aware of the situation, and previously indicated his future may be away from Anfield.
And speaking recently to Goal, the centre-back again suggested a departure may unfortunately be in his best interests.
“The plan at the moment is to go back to Liverpool for pre-season and just go from there, really,” he said,
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“Every player wants to be playing games. And at the stage I’m at, I need to be playing games for my development.
“I think if you look from my first game last season to my last, there was development and I felt a lot more confident and comfortable. I want to keep that progression.
“In terms of Liverpool, they obviously play a huge amount of games every year. Game-time is never guaranteed for anyone. But it would depend on whether there’s enough opportunity within those games for me, I guess.”
Several teams have taken note, but per Goal, Brighton and Burnley’s interest is the ‘strongest.’
While the Reds are deemed in no rush to sell, they are described as being ‘sympathetic’ to Phillips’ desire for regular action.
As such, Liverpool are stated to be seeking north of £12m if he is allowed to leave.
Should that happen and Brighton win the race, Arsenal could be indirectly aided on their transfer front.
Phillips transfer could facilitate Arsenal move
The Gunners have been heavily linked with a move for England and Brighton centre-half, Ben White.
An improved bid was mooted, with clues emerging that pointed toward an impending move.
And a potential Phillips switch to the South Coast could help matters further by providing Brighton with a readymade White replacement.