With a loan deal for Philippe Coutinho now agreed, Aston Villa now have the opportunity to focus on signing other players who Steven Gerrard feels would improve his squad.
One player to whom the club could turn their attention and realistically get through the door before the end of the month is Liverpool defender Nathaniel Phillips.
In a recent article from The Athletic by James Pearce, it was claimed that the 24-year-old “is attracting plenty of interest from both Premier League and Serie A clubs”.
The report also claimed that the Merseysiders have already rejected a bid of £7m from an unnamed top-flight club for him, with Liverpool having set their asking price set at £15m.
Additionally, the report named Villa as one of the Premier League sides who are in the market for a centre-back this month, so there’s every possibility that the Midlands club could launch a move for Phillips in the coming weeks if they feel he could improve their squad.
Taking into account how Villa have said goodbye to Axel Tuanzebe after his loan spell at Villa Park was cut short this week, there certainly is room for a new centre-back such as Phillips, who is currently valued at £7.2m by Transfermarkt, to come in and try and secure a place in Gerrard’s team.
Also, with a recent poll ran by Football FanCast revealing that 67% of Villa fans think Tyrone Mings is a liability for the team after his performance in their recent 3-1 defeat against Chelsea – when he was at fault for Romelu Lukaku’s goal – this could pave the way for Gerrard to sign Phillips this month and create a solid centre-back partnership alongside Ezri Konsa, potentially fixing the issue of their leaky defence, with 30 goals conceded in 19 league games.
With just four appearances under his belt for Liverpool across all competitions so far this season, a potential move to Villa could be very appealing for Phillips, who has been labelled as a “monster” on the pitch by Jurgen Klopp. If he would be guaranteed regular game-time under Gerrard’s guidance, it would benefit Liverpool at the same time by reaping what they see as a suitable transfer fee for him.
With Villa also being linked with a move for fellow Liverpool centre-back Joe Gomez, Phillips could be a much easier deal to secure given the Merseyside club’s reported willingness to sell him this month.