Last week, West Ham were said to be closing on a pair of potential January defensive signings as David Moyes’ diverse Hammers sought a solution to their ongoing defensive injury crisis. Now, they appear to have narrowed their search down to one.
At least that’s what The Evening Standard claim, saying that Nat Phillips is West Ham’s man at centre half and that they will push ahead despite his recent fractured cheekbone—suffered shutting down Zlatan Ibrahimovic and AC Milan in the Champions League.
That’s as a result of Phillips’ injury prognosis being less serious than feared, with the 24-year-old Bolton Baresi said to be likely to return between early and mid-January, a timeline that allows West Ham to feel confident in pushing ahead with his signing.
Past reports had suggested that Liverpool valued the player at around £15M, but this latest story—told, it should be noted, from the West Ham perspective and so likely to paint the facts as much in their favour as possible—has the Reds willing to deal at £10M.
Phillips has recently talked about the reality of his minutes likely remaining limited at Liverpool and of being open to options, while Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp remain content with the current squad and have no great need to sell or buy in January.
It will be interesting to learn in the coming weeks, then, just how much truth there is to the persistent talk of West Ham’s interest in Phillips, as well as what kind of fee ends up being agreed if the player does make the switch to East London next month.