By Kevin Phillips

6th Sep, 2021 | 6:00pm

Phillips 'surprised' as details emerge over Liverpool bid for Chelsea star Niguez

Kevin Phillips can’t believe Liverpool didn’t try harder to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez.

The Sunderland legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, reacted after the Spaniard joined Chelsea.

According to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo (12 July), Jurgen Klopp’s side had an opening bid of £35million rejected by Atletico Madrid for Niguez.

Niguez, 26, joined Chelsea on a season-long loan from Atletico in the final hours of deadline day.

The Blues have the chance to make the transfer permanent at the end of the season for a reported £30million.

The versatile midfielder made 41 appearances for Diego Simeone’s title-winners last season.

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Phillips admits he is surprised Liverpool didn’t try harder to sign the midfielder considering they aren’t blessed with depth in that position.

“Chelsea have made some good signings,” Phillips told Football Insider assistant editor Dylan Childs.

“Niguez is just another piece of the jigsaw that will push them towards the title.

“I’m surprised Liverpool didn’t go for him. In that area, for that money, he could add some competition in that midfield area.

“I’m surprised at Liverpool’s lack of effort towards transfers, in time we might find out what happened.

“Niguez is a quality player who would have strengthened Liverpool’s squad.”

Liverpool failed to sign a new central midfielder this summer after Gini Wijnaldum left the club upon the expiry of his contract.

Defender Ibrahima Konate was the only arrival at Anfield this summer as the Reds received a much-needed boost to their backline.

In other news, Liverpool fans should be worried after ‘huge’ transfer development – Mills.