Nat Phillips wants to leave Liverpool this month in pursuit of regular game time and his manager Jurgen Klopp has recalled Rhys Williams to cover for the departing defender
Liverpool have recalled defender Rhys Williams from his loan spell at Championship side Swansea City.
Phillips, 24, will be allowed to leave Anfield on a permanent basis in January after making just three appearances in all competitions this season.
A defensive crisis saw Phillips form a partnership with Williams, 20, at centre-back last term, helping the Reds achieve Champions League qualification.
But the return to fitness of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip – as well as the signing of Ibrahima Konate – pushed Phillips and Williams back down the pecking order.
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Williams joined Swansea on loan in August, but he’s made just seven appearances in all competitions and Liverpool have decided to bring him back.
“Everyone at Swansea City would like to thank Rhys for his contribution during his brief time at the club, and wish him every success in his future career,” read a club statement.
Williams could be sent back out on loan, yet he will likely replace Phillips as Liverpool’s fifth-choice centre-back.
According to the Liverpool Echo, the Reds have already rejected two bids for Phillips, who is fully fit after recovering from a fractured cheekbone.
One of those bids is thought to have come from struggling Watford. Rumours suggest Liverpool’s asking price is £15million.
Speaking last month, Phillips revealed his desire to leave Anfield for regular minutes. He’s made just 47 career appearances.
“The manager and I agree that the best thing for me is to play as many games as possible,” he told Sky Sports News.
“I think you saw last year I developed well. I’m going to see what comes along [in January] and go from there.
“I think at this moment in time it’s unlikely that I’ll be playing lots of games for Liverpool, so if an opportunity arises where I get the chance to do that somewhere else.
“And if it suits everyone then it’s certainly something I’d be interested in.
“I’ve had the exposure and experience in the Premier League and the Champions League. So maybe those situations where you’re new and nervy, I’ve gone through that phase.
“I don’t need to go through that process if I do go somewhere else. I’ll be ready straight away to get involved and play.”
Klopp added: “We cannot keep him forever, that’s clear. We needed him, just to be safe, for that half-year.
“We will see what happens in the window. He was fine doing it because he’s a great guy. His development is absolutely insane.
“You saw it last year, you would have said ‘Nat Phillips, oh my god, he plays in the last line?’ People love him because of his heading but with his feet he is unbelievable.
“He’s a late starter, but his development is unbelievable. I would sign him for any club except Liverpool, because we have him.”