Liverpool eyeing January move for Newcastle transfer target described as ‘a Rolls-Royce’

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Liverpool are said to be weighing up a January move for Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly, who is also believed to be a target for Newcastle United. The Reds were linked with the 23-year-old back in 2019 as he rose through the ranks at Bristol City before he eventually joined the Cherries that summer.

Kelly featured in all of Bournemouth’s matches in the Championship until mid-November, when it was revealed that he was struggling with an injury.

The central defender, who can also play at left-back, has not featured since but is still believed to be a target for his former boss Eddie Howe at Newcastle.

The 44-year-old signed Kelly during his time in charge of Bournemouth and deployed him on eight occasions in the Premier League before his side were relegated in the summer of 2020.

Howe is said to be keen on reuniting with Kelly at Newcastle as he aims to strengthen his ranks in January ahead of the run-in.

However, it seems as though the Magpies will face plenty of competition from Liverpool in the race for the Bournemouth man’s signature.

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The six-time European champions have an ‘interest’ in bringing Kelly to Anfield at the turn of the year, according to the Daily Mail.

He was previously described as ‘a bit of a Rolls-Royce’ by former manager Jonathan Woodgate, who took charge of Bournemouth on a temporary basis towards the end of last season.

“I don’t see him being at Bournemouth long if he keeps on playing like that,” said Woodgate after his side’s victory over Bristol City back in March of this year.

“He was brilliant. He’s got some strings to his bow now. He can play very well at centre-half and he can play very well at left-back.

“As long as he keeps on doing that, he might not be at Bournemouth for long, because he’s a really good player.

“At the minute he just looks like a bit of a Rolls-Royce doesn’t he? He looked very, very good.”

It remains to be seen whether Liverpool’s desire to land Kelly has been influenced by the uncertain futures of Joe Gomez and Nathaniel Phillips on Merseyside.

Gomez has recently been linked with a future move elsewhere after finding himself in a back-up role since the beginning of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Phillips has rarely been given the opportunity to showcase his talents in recent months and has been tipped to seek a loan exit in search of regular game time.

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West Ham United have been credited with an interest in the 24-year-old, who joined Liverpool’s academy from Bolton Wanderers in 2016.

Phillips declared earlier this week that he accepts his current role at Liverpool but admitted that he would like to see an increase in first-team involvement over the second half of the season.

“Obviously I want to be playing as much as possible, but the competition is really difficult, so I’ve got to be ready when I’m called upon,” he said.

“I felt like I stood myself in good stead [against AC Milan on Tuesday]. It was tough towards the end.

“It was tough against [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, someone who has been at the top throughout most of his career, so it was a really tough battle and I enjoyed every minute of it.

“I did get a bit fatigued – that’s going to happen when you play your first 90 minutes in a long time – but I felt overall I can be proud of my performance.”

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