Liverpool consider Nat Phillips’ transfer to rethink as Joel Matip’s ‘plan’ emerges

Liverpool are considering whether to allow Nat Phillips to join Bournemouth on loan next season – despite initial plans to cash in on the defender this summer.

The Reds put in £15m for the 25-year-old, who played a key role in Jurgen Klopp’s side in securing the Champions League during the 2020/21 season.

Since then, Phillips’ stock has soared during a loan spell at Bournemouth last season, which saw the former Bolton Wanderers defender make 17 appearances as Cherry earned an automatic second-tier promotion.

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While a permanent exit in search of regular playing time was initially expected during the current transfer window, ECHO understands that Liverpool are now considering a different plan for Philips as they look to the future. Club sources have indicated that the Reds are considering whether a full departure this summer could be a precipitate – and if they can have a long-term replacement option for Joel Matip in their hands as the squad re-form in the coming years.

Whether Phillips, who has enjoyed playing football on a regular basis for the past four months, would be willing to take on such a challenge is another consideration. Matip enjoyed his best season ever in the Liverpool shirt last season, avoiding the injury problems that often hampered his progress at the club, and making a total of 31 Premier League appearances as Klopp’s side narrowly missed the title. The 30-year-old currently has two years left on his current deal.

Meanwhile, Phillips remained tied up at Anfield until the summer of 2025 after putting his pen to paper on a new contract last year. If Liverpool decide to send the defender on loan next season, Bournemouth will almost certainly be their destination again.

Liverpool negotiated a £1.5m loan fee for Phillips to join Scott Parker in January and secured an additional £250,000 from the upgrade clause included as part of the agreement. The Reds will look to put in place a similar financial arrangement this summer, if it is decided that heading to the south coast on a temporary switch represents the best option for all parties.

Phillips is understood to be enjoying life at Bournemouth – and this has been reflected in the levels he has reached and how well the team has done since his arrival. The next step would be to establish himself as a regular member of the First Class, which would increase his value.

In an exclusive interview with ECHO recently, Phillips said: “My main ambition is to play football regularly at the highest possible level. This has always been the case, and this has never changed. I would like to believe that this will be the Premier League after my time last season. With Liverpool and now with Bournemouth he is being promoted.”

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