Jurgen Klopp wants to see “fire in the belly” of Liverpool defender Nat Phillips when his injured teammates return from injury. 

That’s according to former Leeds United hitman Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about Phillips’ future.

On Tuesday, Football Insider revealed RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate has already undergone the first part of his Liverpool medical and agreed a five-year contract.

Phillips has been a regular for Liverpool in recent months as a result of the club’s unprecedented injury crisis.

However, James Pearce of The Athletic recently claimed a decision on the future of Phillips “has not yet been made” by Liverpool.

The defender is contracted to Liverpool until the summer of 2023.

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Whelan claims Phillips could improve next season as he faces more competition for a place in the side.

When asked if Phillips would consider a move to another Premier League club in a bid to secure regular football, Whelan told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, “Yeah, I think so.

“It’s hard to go back. After you’ve had that taste of being in the team and you’ve been given that opportunity.  

“He has a lot to contend with at Liverpool. Key players are coming back but that’s where the challenge lies. 

“You see what people are made of and what character they have. Does he want to fight for it?

“This is what you need at a big club. There’s always competition. It can sometimes bring the best out of you.

“Or you can take the easy option and move on. Go and play week in, week out somewhere else. 

“I’m sure Klopp wants to see fire in his belly. Stay and fight. It could be beneficial for Liverpool.”

In other news, teenage prodigy predicted to head out of Villa Park amid interest from Liverpool.