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West Ham keen on Liverpool defender Nat Phillips but Reds will only let cult hero go in £10m permanent transfer

, West Ham keen on Liverpool defender Nat Phillips but Reds will only let cult hero go in £10m permanent transfer

LIVERPOOL will sell Nat Phillips in the window — and will not do a loan deal for their cult hero centre-half.

West Ham are interested in the player and ideally want him for the rest of the season as cover for the injured Angelo Ogbonna.

Phillips started for Liverpool against AC Milan in midweek

Phillips, 24, will be allowed to go — but only on a permanent basis in a deal that would reach £10million.

Hammers are under pressure as other targets — such as Burnley’s James Tarkowski — are too expensive and out of reach next month.

Phillips is seen as an alternative solution but Liverpool do not want to loan him out and then have the loyal defender come back in the summer.

He damaged a cheekbone last week against AC Milan but should be fit early in the new year — and is still training without contact.

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Phillips made 17 Premier League appearances for Jurgen Klopp‘s side last season when the Reds went through a defensive crisis.

Injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip left Liverpool desperately short in the centre of defence.

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But Phillips slotted in well, often playing alongside auxiliary defenders Fabinho or Jordan Henderson.

But since the return of the club’s first choice players he has made just two appearances so far this season – one in the Carabao Cup and earlier this week against Milan in the Champions League.

And Liverpool have also added to the centre-back spot since the end of the last campaign, bringing in highly-rated Frenchman Ibrahima Konate.

Klopp’s side have conceded just 12 goals in 16 Premier League matches so far this season.

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