Liverpool defender could get Champions League move as manager seeks solution to injury crisis

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One current Liverpool defender could yet be playing in the Champions League this season, judging by recent reports.

According to The Times, Celtic are ‘closing in on’ a season-long loan move for Nat Phillips, with former Reds manager Brendan Rodgers hoping his old club might do him a favour in the final week of the summer transfer window.

It’s not just Jurgen Klopp who’s dealing with defensive injuries at the minute, as the Hoops have several members of their backline currently unavailable, hence their interest in a near-deadline move for the 26-year-old.

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Leeds and Middlesbrough have also been linked with Phillips in recent days, but with all due respect to the Championship duo, a Champions League-competing club in Celtic would surely be a more attractive draw for the defender.

Although he’s only made 29 appearances in total for Liverpool (Transfermarkt), some of the centre-back’s finest moments for the Reds have actually been in that competition.

He gave a tremendous performance against RB Leipzig in the round of 16 three seasons ago when he stepped up amid a plethora of defensive injuries at Anfield, while he treated us to an unforgettable Cruyff turn in a 2-1 win over AC Milan at the San Siro in December 2021.

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Despite those highlights, though, Phillips has been nowhere near first-team contention in pre-season or the early weeks of the new campaign, with academy youngster Jarell Quansah now ahead of him in the pecking order in Klopp’s squad.

The ‘Bolton Baresi’ needs a move elsewhere to reinvigorate his career, and the prospect of playing Champions League football for Celtic – whose ground will be rocking for their home games in the competition – must be hugely attractive for him.

With the door seemingly shut at Liverpool, hopefully the 26-year-old will get the chance to shine on the big stage and enjoy regular football this term. Rodgers could viably offer him the opportunity to tick both boxes.

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