Newcastle United have approached Liverpool for defender Nat Phillips, exploring a summer move to St. James’ Park.
According to an exclusive report from The Athletic, Newcastle United are one of many clubs that have established contact with Liverpool over a potential move for Nat Phillips this summer. It appears Steve Bruce is desperate to bolster his options in the defensive department after enduring yet another mediocre campaign last term.
They have identified Phillips as a potential candidate, with Liverpool themselves ready to cash in on the young defender for a fee between £12 million and £15 million.
Newcastle United, though, are expected to face stiff competition from league rivals including Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion, who are determined to replace Ben White, who signed for Arsenal this summer.
Phillips was one of Liverpool’s most crucial players last season, emerging as a deputy for the injured defensive trifecta of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez. He didn’t set the world alight with his performances, but the Englishman did enough to help the club secure a top-four finish at the end, largely thanks to a stable partnership with Ozan Kabak during the second half of the campaign.
However, Liverpool have brought in Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig this summer. Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip have all returned to full fitness as well, even taking part in the pre-season friendlies. Their comeback on the pitch could see Phillips drop down the pecking order once again, potentially paving the way for a move away from Anfield.
Newcastle United should be an ideal destination as the Magpies do require defensive reinforcements this summer. They are already involved in the race to sign Alex Tuanzebe, but Phillips might be a more logical option due to his game-time this past season. His style of play should also tune in well with Bruce’s tactical philosophy.
Perhaps most importantly, NUFC can secure the services of the Liverpool defender for a cut-price this month. It bodes well for the club, which is experiencing several financial restraints.
Liverpool themselves, meanwhile, wouldn’t mind offloading Phillips as it could serve as a financial boost in their attempts to land other top targets in the market. The Reds are reportedly on the market for a new winger, with Arnaut Danjuma emerging as a potential target for Jurgen Klopp.