If Liverpool are ready to sell Phillips for £10m, Celtic need to be on red alert - TBR View
Nat Phillips has emerged as an unlikely Liverpool hero during the course of the second half of the season – amid a centre-back crisis that has lasted the entirety of the 2020-21 campaign at Anfield. But new reports claim that Liverpool are ready to put emotion aside and cast him off for just £10million and if that is the case, then surely, Celtic have got to be on red alert and look to bring the no-nonsense defender north of the border?
Phillips, 24, had managed just one senior appearance for Liverpool before the start of the season and had, instead, been on loan at second-tier German side Stuttgart the season before – though he helped them gain promotion to the Bundesliga. He returned to Liverpool last summer and was linked with a £2.5million move to Swansea, but he chose to remain at Anfield.
While it was a decision that might have been criticised, it has turned out to be the right one – and then some. Phillips has benefitted massively from the absence of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez – playing 20 times this season and starting 11 of Liverpool’s last 14 league games. He has been magnificent, but reports claim Liverpool are ready to sell for £10million.
Perhaps harsh, Phillips might entertain a move to the right club. With van Dijk and Gomez expected to be back next season, and the possibility of another centre-back arriving in the form of Ibrahima Konate, Phillips would be fourth choice again – even if Matip leaves. So, a move this summer is probably wise – and Celtic have got to give him that chance.
Celtic need a centre-back with Shane Duffy returning to Brighton after a disappointing loan. Kris Ajer, meanwhile, is expected to leave – with Newcastle linked. Celtic need a defender that is good on the ball given they dominate possession, strong in the air to dominate Celtic’s domestic opponents but also quick – an area in which Duffy struggled given the space in behind.
Phillips has shown he can do all three by playing for Liverpool. While £10million would be a record for Celtic, the Hoops could try and reduce that fee to something more affordable. But the point is, is that if Liverpool are ready to sell Phillips for a decent price – one inside Celtic’s affordability – then surely the Hoops have to be interested in luring him north.
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