Ex-Leeds United target completes loan move to Scottish Premiership giants Celtic

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A previous Leeds United target has completed a move ahead of transfer deadline day

Former Leeds United transfer target Nat Phillips has completed a loan move to Scottish Premiership champions Celtic, running until January 2024.

The Liverpool defender was attracting interest from the Whites earlier in the window but the Elland Road outfit turned their attention to Joe Rodon while Charlie Cresswell extended his contract with the club to give Daniel Farke plenty of options at centre-back.

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Rodon joined the Whites on loan from Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur and has started the club’s last two Championship games - a 1-1 draw at home to West Brom and a 4-3 victory at Ipswich Town.

A statement from Liverpool confirming Phillips move to Scotland read: “Nathaniel Phillips has joined Celtic on loan for the first half of the 2023-24 season, subject to international clearance.

“The centre-back will link up with the Scottish club until January after finalising a switch to Celtic Park on Thursday afternoon. Phillips has made 29 appearances for the Reds’ senior side, scoring one goal, since joining the club’s Academy in 2016.

“Twenty of those games came during the 2020-21 campaign, when he was instrumental in helping Jürgen Klopp’s team to a third-placed finish in the Premier League. Last season, the 26-year-old turned out five times for Liverpool, most recently in an Emirates FA Cup tie with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux in January.”

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Celtic manager, Brendan Rodgers said: “We’re delighted to bring Nat to Celtic and we’re looking forward to working with him in the months ahead. It’s been well-documented that it’s an area of the team we needed to look at in the short-term due to a number of injuries we have experienced, and so we’re pleased that Nat will provide that defensive support in the squad.

“Nat arrives with the experience of having played for another huge club in Liverpool and those experiences will serve him well here at Celtic. I know that he’s delighted with this move and is looking forward to working with the rest of the squad here.”

Of his move to Glasgow, Phillips said: “I’m really excited. When I heard about the interest it was one that got me excited.

“There were a few other options that didn’t quite make me feel the same as this one did, so I was really keen to get it over the line and I’m delighted to be here now.”

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