Former England goalkeeper David James has predicted where Kalvin Phillips will go next, should he opt to leave boyhood club Leeds United this summer.
The Whites have had a troublesome campaign, mainly due to injuries. Phillips has spent time on the sidelines, alongside fellow integral player Patrick Bamford and many others.
In Phillips’ absence, Leeds slipped further down the Premier League table. They went on a four-match losing streak which saw Marcelo Bielsa lose his job.
Leeds’ problems have seen rumours regarding Phillips’ future intensify. West Ham were hoping to land the Englishman in January, but they face competition from several clubs heading into the summer.
Liverpool and Aston Villa are other potential destinations for the midfielder. Manchester United admire him, although he is unlikely to join such a close rival.
Despite this, James thinks Villa and United will fight it out for Phillips. The former shot-stopper also made a ‘stepping stone’ claim about the 26-year-old.
Kalvin Phillips future predicted
“I do believe Aston Villa and Manchester United should compete for Kalvin Phillips’ signature if he becomes available this summer,” James said (via MOT Leeds News).
“He’s one of my favourite players and that’s not solely due to his footballing talent, but he’s a wonderful human being too.
“The lure would naturally be Manchester United because of the size of the club but this is Kalvin Phillips who plays for Leeds United.
“But I also think playing under Steven Gerrard in that Aston Villa squad, and adding to that where Stevie wants to take them, I believe would be the right stepping stone for Kalvin Phillips.
“I don’t want to insinuate that Aston Villa are a stepping stone. But Gerrard will realistically want to manage a team that’s eventually competing for major honours, whether that’s Liverpool or another club.
“Kalvin could become a member of Stevie’s group at Villa. Then, if he does well, he can go with Stevie to the next club he moves on to.
“Once Stevie likes a player then he sticks with them, which is something you can sense from his relationships. I can see Stevie bringing success to Villa. That would be one exciting bus for Kalvin Phillips to be on.”