Liverpool are considering retaining Nat Phillips for the second half of the season following his return from a difficult loan spell at Celtic.
The 26-year-old joined the Bhoys on six-month deal back in August but only managed to clock up just over 300 minutes of league action during his time there.
The prospect of a further loan stint has been raised after his return to Merseyside, but This Is Anfield understands the Reds are weighing up whether to keep hold of Phillips instead.
Jurgen Klopp‘s options at centre-half have been thinned by the loss of Joel Matip for the remainder of the campaign due to a serious knee injury.
And though youngster Jarell Quansah has stepped up impressively since, Liverpool have plenty of reasons to err on the side of caution when it comes to the depth at the heart of their defence.
One is Ibrahima Konate‘s proneness to muscle injuries, while the fact that Joe Gomez also serves as backup at both right-back and left-back is another.
Phillips could be in contention to play a part in Sunday’s FA Cup trip to Arsenal and, should he feature in any capacity, he will be unable to depart on another loan.
That is because FIFA rules forbid players from representing three clubs during a single season.
Those regulations are why neither Fabio Carvalho or Rhys Williams are expected to be involved at the Emirates Stadium this weekend.
The pair have returned from disappointed spells at RB Leipzig and Aberdeen respectively, but it is understood that alternative loan clubs are now being sought.