Newcastle United will lose out on signing Nat Phillips, claims former Premier League striker Noel Whelan.
The Lowdown: Phillips eyed
According to The Athletic, the St. James’ Park faithful, in addition to West Ham United, Brighton and Hove Albion, Burnley and Bayer Leverkusen, are all eyeing up a potential move for Phillips in the summer transfer window.
Should Newcastle sign Phillips?
Liverpool currently value the central defender at £15m, and it is not yet clear whether the North East club would be willing to pay that kind of money.
The Latest: Whelan prediction
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan, who played for the likes of Leeds United and Coventry City, has predicted that Phillips will sign for the Hammers, and so the Tyneside club would be set to lose out on his signature:
“I think Phillips would choose West Ham over the others, definitely.
“David Moyes has assembled a really strong side there.
“There is a focus on British based players, you can see what he is thinking. He has got rid of the players who did not give their all for the club. They have got a lot more honesty in that squad now and it shows because they have been much harder to beat over the past 12 to 18 months.
“They have great harmony in that dressing room and it comes from a great core group. Why wouldn’t you be interested in a move to West Ham if you’re Phillips?
“I think he’d be another great addition to West Ham’s squad as well.”
The Verdict: Would be a shame
It would certainly be a shame if Steve Bruce’s team were to miss out on the signing of Phillips, especially if he ends up joining a rival of theirs in the Premier League.
Described as a ‘monster’ by Jurgen Klopp after a match against RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League back in March, he is certainly capable of playing at the highest level, and his six-foot-two frame means that he could be a key threat for the Magpies in both boxes.
Phillips won no fewer than 7.5 0f his duels per match in the top flight in the 2020/21 season, in addition to averaging 4.8 clearances, 1.3 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game (Sofascore), covering the injuries suffered by Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez well.
The Toon would be getting a very good player on their hands if they were to win the race for his signature.
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