Transfer notebook: Burnley contact Liverpool over defender Nat Phillips

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Nathaniel Phillips enhanced his reputation last season - GETTY IMAGES
Nathaniel Phillips enhanced his reputation last season - GETTY IMAGES

Liverpool have received an approach from Burnley for defender Nat Phillips.

The Merseyside club are willing to listen to offers for an initial £10 million, with further add-ons to be negotiated to take the full asking price towards £15m.

No bid has been received at this stage, but Burnley’s £12 million move for Stoke City’s Nathan Collins - a fee was agreed with the Potters on Tuesday - has not diminished their interest in the Liverpool defender.

The 24-year-old Phillips is an attractive option given his personal terms are currently well below usual Premier League levels, and he has absorbed invaluable experience at the highest level of English and European football in the last 12 months.

Phillips, who stepped in to solve Jurgen Klopp’s defensive injury crisis last season, enhanced his reputation during a particularly impressive finale to the campaign when he helped the club to Champions League qualification.

His performance against Burnley at Turf Moor, in which he was superb at both ends and scored in a 3-0 win, will have been especially noted by Sean Dyche.

Burnley are not the only Premier League suitors, and Liverpool are prepared to negotiate a mutually beneficial deal which will allow Phillips to build on his breakthrough season.

Despite becoming a cult hero for the Kop, there is realism about his first team opportunities in a normal season when Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and new signing Ibrahima Konate are vying for the centre-back positions. Making the switch before the start of pre-season training in July makes sense for all parties if the fee can be agreed.

Burnley agreed a £12 million deal for Stoke’s Collins on Tuesday morning. They have followed up a long-term interest in the Irish youngster having made two offers last January.

Villa back in for Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe

Aston Villa are lining up a second bid for Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe, in another huge statement of intent from the Midlands club.

Villa will make an improved offer for the England under 21 international after identifying the attacking midfielder as a key addition to Dean Smith's squad this summer.

Arsenal rejected a bid worth around £25 million from Villa earlier this month and insist the 20-year old is not for sale.

Smith Rowe is in talks over a new contract with Arsenal and the club remain hopeful of striking an agreement, but Villa believe a potential deal is worth exploring.

Villa have already smashed their transfer record this summer with the £33 million capture of Emi Buendia from Norwich, while former England international Ashley Young joined on a free transfer last week.

Smith Rowe is another top target and it is understood Villa envisage him playing in a front-three alongside Buendia and Ollie Watkins, with captain Jack Grealish operating as a No. 10 behind them.

Too many times last season Smith was frustrated with attacking moves breaking down on the wings or in areas in front of Watkins, so those positions are seen as crucial this summer.

Villa are also looking at other areas as they bid to improve on last season's 11th-placed finish.

A defensive midfielder is also seen as a vital position - it is understood that Southampton Oriol Romeu is admired by Villa's recruitment team and coaching staff but the south-coast club will be very reluctant sellers so, at this stage, any deal appears remote.

Smith is also looking to strengthen his backroom team this summer and is targeting a specialist set-piece coach.

Wolves and West Ham keen on move for Burnley's James Tarkowski

Wolves are among the teams considering a move for James Tarkowski as he enters the final year of his contract at Burnley.

The 28-year-old was subject of a bid from West Ham last summer and they retain an interest in the centre-back, whose expiring terms at Turf Moor has made him a sought-after target in the transfer window.

Yerson Mosquera, 20, has arrived from Atletico Nacional in a £4.5m deal but Wolves are still in the market for a defender to bolster the back-line of new coach Bruno Lage.

Tarkowski has been a consistent performer for Burnley in his five seasons since arriving from Brentford, with his club determined to keep him for next season.

They will need to weigh up whether another year is more valuable than the money they would receive, even if he walks away for free in 12 months.

Wolves have also been looking at goalkeepers as Rui Patricio is close to joining AS Roma. Fiorentina goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski, 23, is on their radar after performing well in Serie A last season.

Southampton lead chase for Blackburn striker

Southampton are leading the race for Blackburn Rovers striker Adam Armstrong, who looks set to move to the Premier League this summer.

Norwich City recently joined the hunt for the 24-year-old, who has a year left on his contract at Ewood Park and would expect to fetch £10million for his club.

Armstrong has scored 46 goals in the last two seasons in the Championship and was scouted by a number of top-flight clubs last season.

Arsenal keeping tabs on Calvert-Lewin

Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s form with Everton last season has attracted the interest of clubs, with the England striker the leading goalscorer for finishes inside the penalty area.

Arsenal are looking to revamp their attacking line if they can get players out and they are admirers of Calvert-Lewin.

The 24-year-old scored 25 goals for club and country last season and only one of them was a penalty. He scored a spot-kick for England against Republic of Ireland but Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison are the usual takers at Goodison.

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