Liverpool backed to sign Kalvin Phillips in January but must haggle on price

Liverpool backed to sign Kalvin Phillips in January but must haggle on price

Liverpool have been backed to complete a January deal for Manchester City star Kalvin Phillips. However, former Reds right-back Glen Johnson has warned his old club against overspending on the England international.

Phillips has continued to struggle for game time at City this season. The midfielder has made just two Premier League starts since joining from Leeds for £42million in the summer of 2022.

Neither of those have come this term and he has been linked with a move away in the winter. Newcastle are said to be interested and are in need of a midfielder following the 10-month ban imposed on Sandro Tonali for breaching betting rules.

But Liverpool are also among the clubs linked with Phillips. Jurgen Klopp oversaw a major overhaul of his midfield in the summer, letting five players leave and bringing in four.

Defensive midfield is still an area that needs addressing though and Johnson believes Phillips would fit the bill. However, he doesn’t think he would be worth spending over £50m on as he has barely played for City.

Johnson told Betfred: “If the price is right. I like him and he’s that sort of player who is happy to sit in that deep midfield role, win the ball back and feed it back to someone else, so I do think he would fit the bill, but not if you’re talking £50m to £60m when he’s hardly played.

“If you’re trying to compete with these top teams whilst signing the players they don’t want, then you won’t be scaring the likes of Manchester City.”

Alexis Mac Allister was the first midfielder Liverpool signed in the summer. He has had to play as a No 6 for the majority of the season so far.

But Johnson believes Klopp needs to find a way to get him further forward. He added: “He’s being wasted in that role and I don’t think he wants to play there, so credit to him for doing a job for the team.

“He’s good enough to play in that position here and there, but it’s not fitting of his attributes because he’s more of a clever player that gets in between the lines and has an attacking brain, so I don’t think he wants to do it, but the team needs him to do it at the minute.

“For the team to really kick on, I think they need a natural player there who doesn’t really want to attack and just performs that role really well. He’s a great player and I do feel as though he’s being wasted because he is better than that.”