By Wayne Veysey

7th Jan, 2022 | 10:19am

Sources: Liverpool respond as Watford submit formal Phillips bid

Liverpool have rejected a £7million bid from Watford for Nat Phillips, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

Sky Sports reported on Wednesday (5 January) that the Merseysiders had knocked back an offer for the defender from an “unnamed” Premier League club.

A Liverpool source has told Football Insider that the bid came from relegation-threatened Watford and was rejected out of hand.

This update comes after this site revealed on Thursday (6 January) that Watford had made a move for Phillips as they look to sign him this month.

Jurgen Klopp has told the centre-back, 24, he can leave in the current window even though he signed a new four-year contract last August.

But Liverpool are holding out for a fee of around £12m for the defender after his breakthrough 2020-21 campaign.

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In an interview with Sky Sports (17 December), the centre-half said he’d “certainly be interested” in a move to a club where he would play regularly.

Football Insider revealed on 29 November that West Ham were laying groundwork ahead of potential move for Phillips this month.

But Watford have made the first formal move as they look to avoid instant relegation to the Championship.

Claudio Ranieri’s side are in the market for at least one centre-back this month and want someone proven in the top flight.

The Hornets have lost six consecutive Premier League matches and sit just one place and two points above the relegation zone.

Phillips made 20 appearances for Liverpool last season but has added just three more this term and is now the fifth choice centre-back at the club.

In other news, Liverpool have been told not to ‘sacrifice’ Mane and Firmino after Pearce exit hint.