Bid Rejected For £8 Million-Valued Burnley Target

A bid has been rejected in the transfer battle over Burnley target Nat Phillips, with Liverpool setting an £8 million price tag on the centre-back.

The centre-back is now in the final year of his contract at Anfield and Arne Slot’s side are set to offload him this summer. Last season saw the 27-year-old on loan at Cardiff City, where he made 18 appearances for Erol Bulut’s side in the Championship.

According to The Athletic’s Liverpool correspondent James Pearce, Turkish side Trabzonspor have seen a bid of £4 million rejected by The Reds, with the club valuing the defender at double the price mooted by the seven-time Super Lig winners.

Several Championship clubs are also interested in a move for the former Bluebird, including relegated Burnley who have finally ended their managerial search with the appointment of former Charlton Athletic midfielder Scott Parker on a three-year deal.

Phillips made his breakthrough in senior football with a strong spell playing for Liverpool amidst a major injury crisis in defence four years ago. He made 20 appearances in the season which saw the Merseyside club clinch a Champions League spot and featured against AC Milan the following season in the competition.

The Bolton-born defender has been sent on loan numerous times under Jurgen Klopp, with appearances for Stuttgart, Celtic and AFC Bournemouth before arriving in the Welsh capital in January of last year. He scored a solitary goal on the final day of the season against an already relegated Rotherham United.

It was his time with The Cherries which enamoured him with Clarets boss Parker, who signed Phillips on a season-long loan as they made their return to the Premier League with a second-place finish in the Championship with 18 appearances across the 2021/22 season.

Burnley have already made defensive reinforcements with the permanent signing of Maxime Esteve following a loan spell from January and the arrival of PSV right-back Shurandy Sambo on a four-year contract. However, Parker may lose key man Dara O’Shea this summer, with the Daily Record reporting that Celtic are interested in signing the 25-year-old.

Writer’s View

Nat Phillips has never really got the chance to show what he’s made of over an extended amount of time and a move away from Liverpool is the best for his career. The Reds have been exploring new options in the transfer market for defenders and the emergence of former Bristol Rovers loanee Jarell Quansah has ended any hopes of a return to regular first-team action at Liverpool.

Burnley will be looking for Premier League quality players and Phillips is at that level so a move for him would be good. The reported £10 million fee they are seeking for Wout Weghorst will gift Scott Parker some more funds for his transfer chest. Whilst £8 million may be a steep price, any extra money gained from the sale of the Dutchman will get them closer to a fee that the Premier League side might be willing to take to bring the defender to Turf Moor.

The Clarets do have strong centre-back depth in their squad following the arrival of Esteve, with Dara O’Shea, Jordan Beyer and Hjalmar Ekdal all worthy of being starters in the squad. With rumours circulating around O’Shea and a move to Celtic, this may give Phillips a primed spot to stake his claim in the matchday squads next season.

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About Lewis Gray 149 Articles
1st Class Honours in Multimedia Journalism at Salford University. Writing mainly about League Two.

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