Burnley will have to match club record outlay to land Liverpool centre back Nat Phillips
Merseyside sources suggest Burnley will have to match their transfer record outlay to land Liverpool centre back Nat Phillips.
With Nathan Collins set to seal a £12m switch to Turf Moor from Stoke City, the Clarets remain in the market for another centre back, and Liverpool are believed to want £15m for Phillips, 24, who enjoyed a good run in the first team at Anfield last season, making 20 appearances in the absence through injury of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
Burnley's record spend is £15m for Chris Wood and Ben Gibson, but they would face competition for Phillips, from a number of Premier League rivals.
With van Dijk, Gomez and Matip set to return rom long-term injuries this summer, and with Jurgen Klopp having added to his options with £35m France Under 21 international Ibrahima Konate, Phillips is expected to drop right the pecking order at Anfield.
Liverpool are happy for him to stay put, but an offer in the region of £15m would persuade them to sell.
Liverpool legend John Barnes said earlier this summer that would have “nothing but respect” for Phillips if he decided to leave Anfield for more regular game time.
Barnes said: ”It’s not a question of whether he’s deserving of a place, it’s a question of if he wants it.
“Of course at his age now he will want to be playing regularly, and I have so much admiration for players who want to play, even if that entails taking a step down.
”What’s the point of staying at a club if you’re not going to play? He’s 24 years old.
“His stock has gone up and if you’re saying that he’s available for £10 million, then you’d have thought that nobody would have been thinking of Nat Phillips as a £10 million player six months ago.
”It’s all down to whether Nat feels happy at Liverpool, and if he feels happy being part of a squad where he plays every now and again, or whether he wants to play regularly.
“From my perspective, I’d always choose to play every week and play regularly, and if he chooses to follow the same path then I’d have nothing but respect for him.”