By Peter Lynch

15th Mar, 2023 | 8:10pm

West Ham must explore £15m deal for Liverpool defender Nat Phillips who is 'expected to leave' this summer

West Ham should reignite their interest in Liverpool defender Nat Phillips, who is “expected to leave” Anfield this summer, according to The Athletic.

The centre-back has barely featured for the Reds this season, with the Hammers having monitored Phillips in the January transfer window, according to ExWHUemployee.

Phillips has made just two Premier League appearances in the current campaign, failing to even make the substitute bench in the club’s last four league matches.

“Centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate remain Jurgen Klopp’s first-choice partnership, with Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Nathaniel Phillips providing back-up,” as quoted by The Athletic (14 March).

“Matip will enter the final year of his contract this summer and Phillips is expected to leave in search of regular game time.”

The Hammers were also reportedly chasing Newcastle’s Jamal Lascelles, Aston Villa’s Calum Chambers and Everton’s Michael Keane at the beginning of the year after an injury to Kurt Zouma and having let Craig Dawson join Wolves.

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With 34 goals conceded in the league this season, the Hammers by no means have the worst defensive record, but worrying for David Moyes will be the fact that only bottom-of-the-table Southampton have fewer clean sheets than his side.

One solution to the problem would be securing the services of Phillips, who despite failing to find regular football at Liverpool has proven himself when called upon by Klopp.

Now 25, the centre-back is keen to play week-in, week-out at the highest level, with a switch to West Ham seemingly the perfect fit for both parties.

Phillips has performed admirably amid injuries to Liverpool’s leading defenders, with the centre-back more than holding his own against formidable opposition in the Champions League.

The Hammers will, however, need to act fast this summer as several Premier League clubs in the bottom half of the table could turn to the Liverpool man to shore up their defences.