West Ham ramp up double move with wantaway Liverpool star phase one

West Ham ramp up double move with wantaway Liverpool star phase one

Nat Phillips has let Liverpool know of his desire to leave in this window, and is being targeted by West Ham as part of a double move this week, per a report.

The centre-half, 24, has slid down the pecking order this season. Nat Phillips answered the call last season when Liverpool’s campaign threatened to unravel amid a spate of injuries in defence.

Rhys Williams and loanee Ozan Kabak played their part, but Phillips became the main man at the back, helping to steer Liverpool towards vital Champions League qualification.

But the signing of Ibrahima Konate and the return of their injured stars has seen Phillips marginalised this year. He is yet to play a single minute in the Premier League this campaign. As such, talk of a January exit began to swirl.

Jurgen Klopp stated Liverpool had no plans to sanction any loans this month. It appears a permanent exit is Phillips’ only route out.

West Ham emerged as a contender to to sign Nat Phillips after Angelo Ogbonna suffered a serious ACL injury.

Now, according to the Evening Standard, the Hammers are preparing to ramp up their pursuit.

They state Davis Moyes will ‘step up’ West Ham’s efforts to land both a centre-back and striker this month.

Phillips would fit the bill in the first regard, and ‘remains a target’ for Moyes. What’s more, the outlet state Phillips is now open to moving away with more regular minutes elsewhere seemingly on his mind. In the article’s words, Phillips ‘has expressed a desire to leave for regular football this month’.

Liverpool won’t stand in Phillips’ way if their demands are met. The Reds are understood to be seeking around £15m for his signature.

Adding further fuel to the fire is Liverpool’s decision to recall Rhys Williams from his loan spell at Swansea. The Welshman would fill the role of fifth-choice centre-half if Phillips were to leave.

Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car is an alternative Hammers target, though that deal is unlikely this month.

West Ham eye Championship hotshot

Also on West Ham’s agenda is bolstering their firepower in the final third. The club have never replaced Sebastien Haller, leaving just Michail Antonio as their sole recognised centre-forward.

Blackburn’s red-hot striker Ben Brereton Diaz is on their radar. However, the striker is currently in South America on international duty with Chile.

That will ensure any late West Ham move this week will have an extra hurdle to overcome.

Brereton Diaz has plundered 20 goals in the second tier this season and would reportedly command a £28m fee.

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Hammers ace the perfect Salah replacement

Meanwhile, Klopp has been told that only one player has the necessary qualities to replace Mohamed Salah at Anfield if the Egyptian end up departing this summer, and he plays for West Ham.

Salah is said to be asking for £400,000 in weekly wages to sign another contract on Merseyside. That would make him the club’s highest paid player ever by a considerable margin. Understandably, progress on the new deal front has been slow thus far given the scale of commitment required.

Now, speaking on talkSPORT,  Tony Cascarino reckons West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen is displaying the ideal qualities Klopp would target if Salah departed the Reds.

“I actually thought, if we lost Mo Salah, who could we logically go after?” the boyhood Reds fan asked.

“Well, the lad Bowen at West Ham ticks all those boxes. He’s tenacious, he chases everything and is decent technically, but not extraordinary.

“I keep thinking who would fit into that Liverpool frontline because Klopp loves those kinds of players in wide areas, who will chase and hassle players. He does all the ugly things for his team, and will always get chances.”

READ MORE: Liverpool give Gerrard no-nonsense transfer answer as Klopp steps in on Aston Villa raid

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