Liverpool have rebuffed Watford’s £7 million offer to sign Nathaniel Philipps, with the Reds holding out for £12 million.
According to Football Insider, Watford have made the first official move in the race to sign Nathaniel Phillips. The Premier League outfit have tabled a £7 million bid for the defender, who is likely to leave Anfield in January. However, it appears Liverpool have swiftly knocked back the offer from the Hornets and are holding out for a fee of at least £12 million.
The report comes just a day after suggestions were made surrounding Watford’s interest in the defender. It seems Phillips has emerged as a top target for Claudio Ranieri, who is keen on defensive reinforcements in January in an attempt to help his team stave off relegation during the second half of the campaign.
The Hornets have struggled with injuries this season, particularly in the defensive unit. It has compelled Ranieri to enter the market for a new defender. The former Leicester City boss was reportedly eyeing a deal to sign Chelsea outcast Malang Sarr earlier this month, but it appears he favours a move for Phillips.
Formerly of the Bolton youth academy, the 24-year-old had made a solid impression last season by stepping up for Liverpool in the absence of the injured defensive trio of Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk. He made a total of 17 Premier League appearances, playing a crucial role in helping the club finish inside the top four.
However, the return of star players coupled with the summer addition of Ibrahima Konate has seen Phillips fall behind in the pecking order. The defender is yet to feature in a single Premier League match so far, thus drawing speculation over his long-term future at the club.
Jurgen Klopp himself has given Phillips the green light to leave Anfield, with the centre-back emerging as a target for clubs like West Ham and Newcastle United. However, Liverpool have no intention of offloading Phillips in a cut-price deal in January, especially after tying him down to a new four-year deal in the summer.
The club’s £12 million price tag might seem ambitious given the current financial climate amid the extending pandemic. So it remains to be seen whether Watford or any other interested party come back with an improved offer for the 24-year-old, who is more than prepared to take the next step in his career.