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Bournemouth are in talks with Liverpool over a permanent deal for centre-back Nat Phillips following their promotion back to the Premier League. A swoop is expected to cost the Cherries around £8million. They already paid £1.5m for the six-month loan and more recently a £250,000 bonus for their return to the top flight.
The 25-year-old was a key part of Scott Parker’s side after joining them on loan from Anfield in January. The defender made 17 Championship appearances for the Cherries.
He started in last Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Millwall in which they secured the second automatic promotion spot behind champions Fulham, ending just two points behind the Cottagers in the final table.
Bournemouth did not have an automatic option to make the loan deal permanent when it expired, but Parker now wants to bring Phillips to the Vitality Stadium on a permanent basis – or on another possible season-long loan deal.
The Bolton-born centre-half earlier this week hinted that he might be open to a move to the south coast. He said: “I want to continue playing regularly, week in, week out. Ideally in the Premier League. So we’ll see what happens in the summer.
“I can’t rule anything out. But ultimately it comes down to, it’s not just me. There’s various conversations that need to be had involving Bournemouth, Liverpool and whoever.
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“So up until now we’ve been concentrating on just getting the job at hand done. Now that’s done, obviously Liverpool still have a few games left and a few big, important games left in their season to play.
“But we’ll see what happens in the summer. I’ve enjoyed my time so much. It’s nice, one of the main reasons I came here was because we had that objective of promotion and something to play towards and it’s a great feeling to finish the season and achieve that.
“It’s been brilliant. I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s been a real challenge, don’t get me wrong and this division is relentless. But I’ve enjoyed that challenge and I’ve enjoyed playing regular football.”
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