Nat Phillips sends Jurgen Klopp a reminder as Liverpool prepare to cash in with transfer

Nat Phillips insists his “main aspiration” is playing regularly in the Premier League, adding further doubt to his Liverpool future.

The Reds centre-back, 25, will return to Anfield this summer after completing a six-month loan spell at Bournemouth. During his time on the south coast, the Cherries keep eight clean sheets in his 17 Championship outings to help Scott Parker’s side win automatic promotion to the top flight.

Phillips still has three years remaining on his deal at Anfield but is determined to play regularly rather than languish on the bench or outside the matchday squad. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp accepted his desire to leave the club in December and is expected to allow the defender to pursue a permanent exit during showdown transfer talks.

“I think we’ll talk in pre-season,” Phillips told the Liverpool ECHO when asked about his future. “The season’s just ended, it’s summer and everyone is on a break.

“There’s not really been any discussions so far. I’ve switched off from football at the moment, other than watching and supporting the lads at Liverpool, so we’ll see what happens and what is said. But up until now, there haven’t been any conversations.

“My main aspiration is to be playing regular football at the highest level possible. That’s always been the case, that’s never changed. I’d like to think that would be the Premier League after my time last season with Liverpool and now with Bournemouth getting promoted.

Nat Phillips helped Bournemouth achieve promotion to the Premier League during a loan spell

Nat Phillips helped Bournemouth achieve promotion to the Premier League during a loan spell
Getty Images)

Which club will Nat Phillips join? Let us know in the comments below!

“I feel like I’m fully capable of playing Premier League football and every player wants to play in the Premier League. That’s my aspiration, to be playing regular football in the Premier League.”

Phillips struggled for minutes during the first half of the campaign at the Reds. He made just three appearances, none of which were in the Premier League, despite producing a series of vital performances during the second half of the 2020-21 season.

The Englishman stepped into the fold when Liverpool were hit by an injury crisis, losing Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip to long-term issues. All three returned to fitness last summer and Klopp also added Ibrahima Konate to his defensive ranks.

It is believed Liverpool will accept an offer of £15million for Phillips’ services. The Reds demanded a similar transfer fee for the aerially-impressive defender in January but did not receive an acceptable bid, allowing him to join Bournemouth on loan on deadline day.

“People often ask me which player made the biggest improvements under my leadership and I say Robert Lewandowski,” said Klopp in December. “That’s probably right, but not far off that is Nat Phillips, just in a completely different department.

“I remember when I saw Nat Phillips first. I spoke to him after the game and he’s one of the smartest players I ever worked with. I told him, ‘You know you are not the easiest on the eye, eh?’ He improved in pretty much everything since, and he’s not playing.

“Life is sometimes not fair and I can’t blame him. We cannot keep him forever, that’s clear. We needed him, just to be safe, for that half-year. We will see what happens in the window. He was fine doing it because he’s a great guy… I would sign him for any club expect Liverpool – because we have him.”

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