Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp facing tough transfer decision that he may not like making

Klopp impressed by Nunez's rapid progress at Liverpool

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is facing a tough transfer decision as Bournemouth are reportedly considering a fresh move for centre-back Nat Phillips. The 25-year-old helped the Cherries win promotion back to the Premier League after starring for the side during a loan spell last season.

Klopp has generally been happy to ship out fringe players in the past if he thinks they are surplus to requirements at Anfield, because he would prefer them to play regularly elsewhere than be unhappy at Anfield. But the German is currently without Ibrahima Konate after the defender picked up an injury during the Reds’ pre-season defeat against Strasbourg last weekend.

The Liverpool manager has revealed that Konate will be “out for a while” and has already allowed 21-year-old centre-back Rhys Williams to join Blackpool on loan. Klopp named Joel Matip alongside Virgil van Dijk at the heart of his backline for their Premier League opener against Fulham on Saturday.

But should one of his first-choice pairing suffer an injury, Klopp could find himself with serious defensive issues with only Joe Gomez to call upon in reserve if Phillips were to leave. England international Gomez was on the bench for the trip to Craven Cottage and would be the next in line to start in the position. 

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But Klopp will be keen to avoid a repeat of the 2020/21 season, where the Reds suffered a torrid run of results amid an injury crisis in the backline. Phillips joined Liverpool from Bolton in 2016 and signed fresh terms last summer. But he has only ever made 24 first-team appearances for the Reds.

And his performances in the Championship have given him options to ply his trade away from Anfield. According to the Bournemouth Echo, Cherries manager Scott Parker is urging the club’s board to consider reviving their interest in Phillips as he has a paucity of options in central defence. 

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“We’ve lost Gary Cahill, we’ve lost Nat Phillips,” said Parker. “We have three centre-halves in the building. At this moment we need some in that area.” They are to sign Marcos Senesi from Feyenoord but still want another. Liverpool have set an asking price of between £12million and £15m for Phillips, although no offers have materialised as of yet.

But Fulham are also said to be keen on the player after storming to the Championship title last time around. Klopp may now decide he is unable to sanction a move at this time, however. The summer transfer window is due to shut at the start of September and the Reds wouldn’t be able to bring in any new faces until January if they did suffer an injury crisis.

So the German may now hold onto Phillips until the start of next year when the transfer window reopens before assessing the situation once again. It is a call he may not like given he wants the best for his players, but the team comes first and Liverpool can’t really afford to lose Phillips right now.

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