Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom has reportedly cast his gaze over to Liverpool for winter window additions, which could lead to potential bids before the transfer window draws to a close.
The subjects of his wandering eyes are defensive duo Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips, with the pair having each enjoyed little in the way of proper game time, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The former was on loan at Swansea City but earned a recall from the Reds due to, as several commentators suspect, his lack of game time in Wales.
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The pair’s chances of getting the regular playing minutes they crave at Anfield, however, is significantly slim in light of the availability of world-class options in the centre of defence.
It’s no slight on Nathaniel Phillips given the quality of performances Liverpool fans have been treated to in the last two seasons when the Bolton Baresi was called upon – particularly last term when the 24-year-old was forced to deputise for a heavily beleaguered backline.
Nonetheless, with no such sign of an injury crisis around the corner, a switch to a side capable of granting the centre-halves the playing time they need for their development would seem ideal given opportunities will be limited with Jurgen Klopp’s first-team.
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An exit in January seems particularly likely for the 24-year-old given his recent statement expressing a desire to ply his trade elsewhere – a request we at the Empire of the Kop would expect the club to be prepared to fulfill, offers depending.
At the moment, it seems none are willing to come close to, let alone meet, our valuation of £15m for the Englishman, with Watford having reportedly tested the waters with a loan offer (including an obligation to buy for £7m – on the proviso they stay up), according to The Athletic.
In light of the same Athletic report, we would expect Williams to be held onto at the club should an agreeable offer be pitched for Phillips’ services.
Having not really put a foot wrong under Klopp, it would be a huge shame to see the defender part ways on a permanent basis, though it’s not a decision any at Liverpool or within the fanbase could begrudge him.
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