Aston Villa transfer news: Gerrard could help seal buyback agreement over £15m star

Aston Villa head coach Steven Gerrard watches from the dugout

Steven Gerrard’s influence could prove key in Aston Villa winning the race to sign Liverpool defender Nathaniel Phillips before next week’s deadline, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.

Phillips has been afforded just three senior appearances this season and a host of clubs are looking to pounce before the January window slams shut.

What’s the latest news involving Phillips?

Liverpool centre-half Phillips has been attracting plenty of interest since the transfer window opened for business, with Premier League rivals Aston Villa, Newcastle United, Watford and West Ham United, along with Serie A sides, keeping tabs on his situation.

The Merseysiders had already slapped a £15million price tag on the 24-year-old before the turn of the year as they braced themselves for bids.

Watford tried their luck in the early days of the window but were left frustrated as their £7million proposal was pushed back by Liverpool.

Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven have become Phillips’ latest suitors, having made an approach last week, while West Ham boss David Moyes remains keen.

Phillips has already stated his desire to leave Anfield in search of regular action if a suitable offer is lodged and it appears his current employers may even be open to a loan switch if their demands are not met prior to next Monday’s deadline.

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What has Dean Jones said about Phillips?

Jones believes the November appointment of Gerrard as their head coach could prove key in Villa winning the battle to sign Phillips.

The transfer insider feels Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp would prefer to see the central defender develop his game under the guidance of the Reds legend.

Jones also reckons the title chasers would be eager to include a buyback clause, which may be easier to negotiate with Gerrard at the helm.

He told GIVEMESPORT: “Obviously, Nat Phillips is a Liverpool player, so Steven Gerrard has connections there.

“Liverpool would probably be more open to the idea of him going to work for Gerrard and having some sort of agreement or a buyback clause inserted if that was something they wanted to look into, which I think they are.”

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Why has Phillips worked his way onto Villa’s radar?

Villa have suffered the blow of Ezri Konsa sustaining a hip injury which, according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, has resulted in Gerrard looking to sign a new centre-half.

Axel Tuanzebe, who initially moved to Villa Park on a season-long loan from Manchester United last summer, has also seen his stay cut short and joined Serie A giants Napoli instead.

That means Gerrard’s current options have been restricted to Tyrone Mings and Kortney Hause, but the 41-year-old has previously admitted he would prefer to have four centre-backs on the club’s books.

Read More – January Transfer Window 2022: When does it open, when does it close and which players are going to move?

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