Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp felt ‘tempted’ by a Championship bid for defender Nathaniel Phillips in the January transfer window, a report claims.
At the start of the season, the Reds showed willingness to let the player leave on loan; he sat behind Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez in the pecking order.
However, he ended up making his Premier League debut in October after injuries to the former pair.
Since then, though, Phillips has not looked back and featured in Wednesday’s Champions League win over RB Leipzig. Manager Jurgen Klopp labelled his performance “incredible”.
Nevertheless, Football Insider claims that the Liverpool boss still entertained thoughts about letting the defender go in January.
Indeed, he reportedly felt ‘tempted’ by an approach from Nottingham Forest.
The report does not state the specifics of the Championship side’s offer, but makes clear they had firm interest.
Despite Klopp‘s partial willingness to let Phillips go, he kept hold of the centre-back as new faces Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies joined the ranks on deadline day.
Phillips played alongside Kabak for the third game this season against Leipzig, keeping another clean sheet; the pair also helped keep Sheffield United out at the end of February.
His partnership with Kabak allowed Fabinho to move back into midfield on Wednesday, but despite Phillips likely to entertain a regular role until the end of the season, his future thereafter remains unclear.
The 23-year-old will fall back down the pecking order once Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip return to the fold.
Uncertainty over Phillips contract cleared up
But what has become clear is that Phillips’ contract does not expire at the end of the season, as has been suggested.
The defender signed a new ‘long-term’ in August 2019, but Transfermarkt claims that the deal is up this summer.
His agency, though, have rejected such claims.