Manchester United are working to sign Kalvin Phillips from Leeds.
the Manchester Evening News revealed on Thursday morning that United have earmarked Phillips as a potential candidate to address their weakness in midfield. Phillips rose to prominence playing in defensive midfield under former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa.
United have prioritized signing a specialist defensive midfielder in the summer and Phillips, 26, could prove to be a shrewd alternative to Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham. United remain admirers of both players, but West Ham value Rice well in excess of £100m and Borussia Dortmund are highly unlikely to sanction an exit for Bellingham in the same summer as Haaland’s inevitable sale.
ALSO READ: Manchester United working on Kalvin Phillips transfer.
Leeds are historically United’s rivals and the news of the Reds’ interest in the midfielder hasn’t been welcomed by supporters in West Yorkshire, so what has Phillips and his agent said on his future? The MEN have taken a closer look below.
Although West Ham reportedly attempted to sign Phillips in January, Leeds denied there was ever a formal offer for the player. Phillips’ agent Kevin Sharps was asked about those claims shortly after the January transfer window shut.
“Kalvin was pleased that Leeds turned those offers down,” Sharp told The Sun. “He has never asked to leave Leeds in all his time with the club and has no intention of doing that now or in the summer.
“But I understand the offer that was turned down would have been a record for both buying and selling clubs. So I would hope that Leeds would honor their promise of a new contract for him which would then end any unsettling speculation about his future this summer.
Leeds have struggled for form this season and that has brought Phillips’ future at the club into question. But the player, speaking to the Daily Mail, was asked about his plans in December and outlined his ambition to earn another deal at Elland Road.
“Going from Championship to Premier League to England Player of the Year, it was an eye-opener and made me realise, ‘I can do this’,” Phillips said. “Everything came together, the hard work taking me where I wanted to be.
“If I carry on doing that, who knows where I’ll end up? I just want to focus on getting back fit, but I speak to the owner regularly. I want a new contract. I’m very happy here. I just think it’s mental [£60m valuation]but I’m not gonna say that I’m not worth £60m!”
Phillips’ agent also went on record again ahead of the season, claiming it has never been his clients ‘desire’ to leave Leeds.
“Before Kalvin signed his last contract, we had good interest so we sat down and explored all the pros and cons,” Sharp told news. “His desire for him was never to leave, it was to be rewarded and stay and play for the team he supported as a kid.
“Within the contract he signed in September 2019, we included provisions within it for if Leeds reached the Premier League, so it’s all set up for the top flight. We knew it was a bit of a gamble, but we knew Leeds would get there under Bielsa and obviously they did.”
Phillips is contracted at Leeds until the summer of 2024.
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