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Galatasaray leading the race to sign Liverpool’s Nathaniel Phillips

Galatasaray leading the race to sign Nathaniel Phillips

Turkish giants Galatasaray are the front-runners in the race to sign Liverpool outcast Nathaniel Phillips, according to The Athletic.

Once regarded as an exciting prospect, Phillips has seen playing time on the red side of Merseyside hard to come by this season.

The English centre-back has only started one league game this season, which came against Crystal Palace back in August when centre-backs were in short supply in Jurgen Klopp’s side due to injuries.

Liverpool’s injury crisis was why Klopp kept Phillips at the club despite interest from Benfica, who wanted to take him on a season-long loan. There was also serious interest from Bournemouth, Burnley and Southampton.

Phillips’ only other start for the Reds this season came against Derby County in the Carabao Cup, and his other appearances have been from the substitutes bench.

He has spent most of his Liverpool career away from the club, having spent loan spells with VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga, where he stayed for two seasons. 

The defender was also part of Scott Parker’s Bournemouth squad that secured promotion to the Premier League last season.

Since his return, the 25-year-old is well behind the other defenders in the pecking order and has been deemed surplus to requirements by the Anfield club.

Phillips had looked set to stay at Liverpool this season to provide cover for the backline following Virgil van Dijk’s hamstring injury. 

However, Rhys Williams’ early return from his loan spell at Blackpool last week means Liverpool can now sanction a deal for Phillips’ departure.

Several Bundesliga clubs are reportedly interested in the Englishman, but Galatasaray are his most likely destination, with Phillips open to the idea of a move to Istanbul.

The Turkish league leaders are currently locked in negotiations for Phillips, who Liverpool value at around £10 million.

Both clubs are exploring options of a simple loan deal, a loan with an option to buy this summer, and a permanent transfer this month. 

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