Arsenal have joined Liverpool, Manchester United and West Ham in the race to sign Kalvin Phillips, according to a report.
Phillips enjoyed an exceptional campaign in 2020-21 as Leeds finished ninth on their Premier League return. He made 31 appearances in all competitions and notched a singular goal against West Brom on the final day of the season.
Phillips’ dominant displays in midfield saw him break into the England team. He soon formed a strong partnership with West Ham’s Declan Rice, too.
The pair shone as the Three Lions reached the final of the European Championship, only to lose to Italy on penalties.
Phillips featured 15 times for the Whites this campaign before picking up a hamstring injury. He is pushing to return by the start of March, according to Marcelo Bielsa.
Despite the 26-year-old being out of action, rumours continue to link him with a move away from Elland Road.
Liverpool and Manchester United are both potential suitors. The Red Devils may face rejection though as £60million-rated Phillips is a lifelong Leeds supporter.
Kalvin Phillips contract situation explained
West Ham submitted a club-record bid for the enforcer in January, only to see it pushed back.
90Min provide an update on Phillips’ list of potential destinations, as well as his contract renewal talks with Leeds.
They claim Arsenal are ready to enter the race for him and may launch a bid in the summer.
Could Leeds United return be on the cards for James Milner?
Liverpool have offered Milner a new contract but will he stay with Aston Villa and Leeds United interested
Mikel Arteta could probably do with landing a new midfielder as Granit Xhaka’s future remains uncertain. According to reports in Italy, Roma want to sign the Switzerland ace after failing to do so last year.
The Gunners’ interest in Phillips stems from Leeds’ hesitation over a new contract. The Whites began negotiations with the star in 2021 but failed to agree to new terms, and they are yet to re-enter talks.
Phillips’ contract runs until 2024, so Bielsa and Leeds will be hoping to sort out a long-term extension in the near future.
Leeds rivalling River Plate for attacker
Meanwhile, Leeds are reportedly in a transfer battle with River Plate to sign MLS forward Valentin Castellanos.
He is a 23-year-old attacker currently representing New York City FC, one of Manchester City’s affiliate clubs.
Castellanos had an exceptional campaign in 2020-21, hitting 23 goals in 36 matches. Add eight assists to that tally, and it’s clear to see why a move to England could be in store for the player.
Sport Witness, who cite reports in Argentina, claim Leeds are ‘expressing interest’ in Castellanos as they aim to improve Bielsa’s forward options.
They are willing to pay $14million (£10.3m) to land him in the summer. But the Argentine transfer window is open now, giving River Plate a big advantage.
They have already entered transfer discussions with New York City FC and are trying to strike a $12m (£8.8m) deal. While that does not match Leeds’ offer, River Plate are buoyed by Castellanos’ ambitions.
The report claims he ‘wants to make the leap to Argentina’, where he was born but is yet to play.