CHERRIES have reportedly “opened talks” to sign central defender Nat Phillips from Liverpool, once again on loan.

Football Insider claim the Merseyside club were expected to sell the 25-year-old for a full transfer fee this summer, but are now planning to offload him for the campaign in exchange for a loan sum.

Amid interest from various clubs during the January transfer window, including reportedly some in the Premier League, Phillips opted to leave Liverpool to join Cherries on loan until the end of last season.

And the defender played a key role, making 17 Championship appearances to help Scott Parker's men over the line in clinching promotion to the top flight.

Speaking to the Daily Echo after promotion was confirmed, Phillips said: "I’m so grateful that I made the decision to come here.

"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.”

He added: "I want to continue playing regularly, week in, week out. Ideally in the Premier League.

"So, we’ll see what happens in the summer."

Cherries have already brought in Ryan Fredericks and Joe Rothwell on free transfers this summer.