Nathaniel Phillips’ agent has claimed Napoli’s move for Man Utd defender Axel Tuanzebe has ended the Italian club’s interest in the Liverpool centre-back.
The 24-year-old was a prominent figure for Liverpool last season as he played 20 times across all competitions.
This came as he covered for Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, who all picked up injuries during the 2020/21 campaign.
The trio’s return from injury has seen Phillips drop back down the pecking order at Anfield, making only one start in all competitions.
Speaking earlier this month, Phillips said that he was keen to leave the club in January. He told Sky Sports: “The manager and I agree that the best thing for me is to play as many games as possible. I think you saw last year I developed well.
“I’m going to see what comes along [in January] and go from there. I think at this moment in time it’s unlikely that I’ll be playing lots of games for Liverpool, so if an opportunity arises where I get the chance to do that somewhere else and it suits everyone then it’s certainly something I’d be interested in.
“I’ve had the exposure and experience in the Premier League and the Champions League. So maybe those situations where you’re new and nervy, I’ve gone through that phase.
“I don’t need to go through that process if I do go somewhere else. I’ll be ready straight away to get involved and play.”
There have been reports that Premier League side West Ham are interested, while Napoli had apparently considered him as they look for a new centre-back.
But his agent Colin Murdock – who has also represented Tuanzebe in the past – claims that Napoli’s imminent deal to take the Man Utd defender on loan has scuppered Phillips’ chances of moving to the Serie A club.
“Napoli have taken Axel Tuanzebe, our former client, on loan, so I think they have finished their operations as regards the role of central defender. Therefore, I don’t think we need further comments on Nathaniel Phillips,” Murdock told Area Napoli.
Tuanzebe was recently recalled by Man Utd from his third loan spell at Aston Villa after only playing eight minutes since Steven Gerrard was appointed in November.