West Ham United have been told to shell out a transfer fee of £10 million for Liverpool defender Nathaniel Phillips.
According to The Sun, Liverpool are prepared to offload Nathaniel Phillips in the upcoming January transfer window. The defender is wanted by West Ham, preferably on a loan move until the end of the season.
However, it appears the Premier League giants have no intention of loaning out Phillips. Instead, they are holding out for a permanent deal and are demanding a fee of £10 million for his services.
It could serve as a blow for West Ham, who are desperately in the market for a new defender. The Hammers were handed a major setback earlier in the campaign when defensive lynchpin Angelo Ogbonna picked up a serious injury. It was followed by another injury to summer signing Kurt Zouma recently, leaving David Moyes devoid of enough defensive options.
The east London club have been linked with a move for a myriad of defensive talents across England and Europe over the past few weeks, including Manchester City’s Nathan Ake. But nearly all of their top targets are either unavailable in January or are simply way too expensive.
As a result, the Londoners have identified Nathaniel Phillips as a potential alternative. They are aware of the 24-year-old’s precarious situation at Anfield, having featured in only three competitive matches this season, despite playing a major role in helping the club secure Champions League last term.
It appears Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip’s return to full fitness, coupled with the summer arrival of Ibrahima Konate, has left Phillips trailing in the pecking order. As such, the Reds are prepared to offload him in January in order to make some room in the defensive unit while simultaneously boosting their finances.
A fee of £10 million might not seem a fortune, but it is quite a considerable sum at a time when the majority of the football clubs are struggling due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, the same reason may rule West Ham out of the chase for Nat Phillips, knowing that the defender may only have limited potential.
That said, Phillips may still leave Anfield in January, as West Ham aren’t the only club interested in his services. The former Bolton starlet is also courted by Newcastle United while Brighton & Hove Albion were keen on his services in the summer. So, it could only be a matter of time before these clubs come knocking at his door in the upcoming January transfer window.