Football Digest: Liverpool need additions before deadline
The stars could be about to align for Jurgen Klopp to complete his Liverpool midfield revamp. With Manchester City tying up a deal for Wolves ace Matheus Nunes, Kalvin Phillips is set to slip even further down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium, which could be the signal needed for the Reds to pounce.
Reports earlier this month indicated that Phillips was a player with admirers at Anfield. Klopp has already signed Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Wataru Endo during the current window, but further midfield reinforcements would be welcomed by the German.
Liverpool are still licking their wounds after missing out on Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia – both to Chelsea – in recent weeks. But Phillips could be the kind of name that boosts morale in the early stages of the season.
The England international has struggled to displace Rodri since joining City from Leeds United last summer, making only 12 Premier League appearances in 2022/23.
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With Rodri still at the peak of his powers, the landscape is much the same at City. In fact, with Mateo Kovacic signed earlier this summer and Matheus Nunes threatening to provide Pep Guardiola with yet another midfield option, it may have become even more competitive.
City and Wolves have reportedly reached a verbal agreement over a £47million move for Nunes, with Tommy Doyle heading the other way in a separate deal.
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Guardiola has been hugely complimentary of Nunes in the past, and it would not be a surprise to see the 25-year-old immediately go ahead of Phillips in the midfield pecking order. Liverpool may therefore be wise to test the waters before Friday’s transfer deadline.
The departures of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, among others, have left Klopp short of experienced campaigners in the middle of the park. Phillips has made more than 250 senior appearances and is a regular in Gareth Southgate’s England set-up.
Liverpool’s admiration for the former Leeds academy prospect is believed to stem from before his move to City. Phillips was once again an unused substitute when the Sky Blues beat Sheffield United 2-1 on Sunday.
Klopp and co are also understood to be keeping tabs on Sofyan Amrabat, Ryan Gravenberch and Cheick Doucoure as alternative targets in midfield.
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