Liverpool have announced an exit-linked star has signed a bumper new deal despite widespread prior reports pointing to a departure.
The Reds have presided over a quiet transfer window thus far. With the window closing fast, it would appear Jurgen Klopp’s side will have to make do with a single major addition.
Ibrahima Konate arrived for £36m from RB Leipzig, though has had to settle for a bench role in the early stages of his Liverpool career.
His acquisition pushed Nathaniel Phillips down to fifth place in the pecking order despite manful displays that helped Liverpool secure Champions League football last year.
However, the injury crisis that afforded Phillips his chance has now subsided. With his chances of regular game-time virtually nil, a plethora of Premier League clubs registered their interest.
Brighton, Burnley, Southampton and Newcastle were all in the frame at varying points. However, Liverpool’s £12m asking price proved too steep for his lengthy list of suitors.
With a permanent exit off the agenda, Liverpool have completed a surprise reversal and handed Phillips a bumper new contract.
ThisIsAnfield reported the deal would run for four years until 2025. A wage increase is also cited.
Speaking about committing his long-term future to the Anfield club, Phillips told Liverpoolfc.com: “Obviously after last year, it’s really nice to get that reward from the club. I’m happy to be sticking around and being available if the club need to call on me again.
“I’m excited for the next chapter and just to see what that brings.
“It is nice that the club has shown me that recognition and hopefully I can bring more of the same with whatever opportunities come my way.”
Phillips won’t “dwell” on “dramatic change”
“Over the off-season I had a bit of time to reflect on what had happened throughout the season, how it ended and to be proud of that,” Phillips added.
“But like I’ve said in previous interviews, you don’t want to dwell on that too much and you want to look forward and see if you can continue to push in a positive direction.
“Obviously it was a dramatic change. No-one saw it coming. I didn’t see it coming – the circumstances that unfolded whereby I ended up playing regularly for Liverpool’s first team.
“For anybody playing for Liverpool’s first team, that is going to be life-changing. For me it’s the same. Obviously it’s brought about this opportunity as well.”