Newcastle United’s January transfer window worked out alright for the most part in the end.
The Magpies made five acquisitions – Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Bruno Guimaraes, Matt Targett and Dan Burn.
Admittedly, Newcastle did miss out on some targets late on, such as Hugo Ekitike and Jesse Lingard.
However, one report has emerged claiming the Magpies were ‘repeatedly offered’ one particular player.
Liverpool’s Nathaniel Phillips was believed to be on Newcastle’s radar in January.
The Daily Mail reported on 25 January that the Magpies had asked about Phillips.
Newcastle apparently wanted to take the 24-year-old on an initial loan.
The Mail claimed the Magpies were prepared to agree to an obligation to buy should they remain in the Premier League.
Interestingly, the report noted how Liverpool rejected a £7million bid from Watford.
The suggestion was that Newcastle may perhaps have struggled to agree a compromise.
Later on in the window, Burn emerged as a target and Newcastle prioritised – and signed – him.
But according to The Athletic, the Magpies were apparently offered Phillips ‘repeatedly’.
The report then says Howe’s preference was to push for Burn.
This was due to his technical ability, his north-east roots and his versatility.
Nonetheless, if The Athletic’s report is true, you can’t help but wonder why they didn’t go for Phillips too.
In the end, the Liverpool defender joined Bournemouth on a straight loan deal.
So perhaps something could’ve been worked out between Newcastle and the Anfield outfit.
Phillips was outstanding towards the end of last season for Liverpool.
And he was superb in Liverpool’s Champions League win over AC Milan this term.
Jurgen Klopp claimed that the improvement he has seen in Phillips is second only to Robert Lewandowski.
He also labelled the centre-back an ‘unbelievable‘ player with his feet.
Newcastle legend Alan Shearer has also waxed lyrical about the 6ft 3in colossus in the past.
He chose the reported Magpies target as his Man of the Match against Burnley last May.
As well as getting on the scoresheet, Phillips did a superb job in keeping a clean sheet en route to a 3-0 win.
“It was a bit of a tricky start for Nat Phillips,” he told Match of the Day.
“But after that, once he settled down, he was the best player on the park.
“He was commanding, did everything he had to do very well.”
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