Journalist suggests surprise Kalvin Phillips transfer destination following Marcelo Bielsa sack

Kalvin Phillips, Leeds United midfielder in Premier League action at Tottenham

The prospect of Kalvin Phillips quitting Leeds United in the wake of Marcelo Bielsa’s sacking have increased, according to one journalist, who also suggests a surprise move could be on the cards for the England star.

The Whites are currently preparing for a new era at Elland Road following the dismissal of Bielsa. The legendary Argentinian coach parted company with Leeds on Sunday, bringing an end to his eventful spell in charge. In his three-and-a-half years at the helm, Bielsa led Leeds from a mid-table Championship club up to ninth in the Premier League.

However, a series of injuries this season has seriously limited Leeds’ threat – and left them facing a fight to retain their status.

Leeds have acted quickly to replace Bielsa at the helm with new man Jesse Marsch.

As it stands, Marsch will hope to hit the ground running at Leeds. Indeed, in his first interview as Whites manager, Marsch has outlined his vision for the West Yorkshire club.

Marsch now has 12 matches to help pull Leeds clear of the relegation zone. A run of five defeats in six games – many of them by heavy scorelines – leaves Leeds just two points clear of the bottom three.

And while the decision to axe Bielsa has not gone down well with all fans, chairman Andrea Radrizzani says he felt he was left with little choice.

For Marsch, his first and main priority will be to keep Leeds in the Premier League.

Should he achieve that, then the Whites will likely embark on a heavy summer of change.

Indeed, the proposed takeover by 49ers Enterprises will hopefully see much investment in the Leeds squad.

That said, Leeds will likely receive plenty of interest in their star men in Raphinha and Phillips.

Villa have money to spend

Now, Ashley Preece, the Aston Villa correspondant for the Birmingham Mail, claims Villa may well rekindle their interest in Phillips.

Race for Kalvin Phillips will be hotly contested

Kalvin Phillips is going to be a very sought-after man in the summer.

Villa will reportedly have around £100m to spend this summer on new players. And while a portion of that is likely to be spent on Coutinho, they will still have money for a new top-class midfielder.

During a Q&A on the Birmingham Mail’s website, Preece hinted Villa may yet come back in for Phillips this summer. Furthermore, he argues the dismissal of Bielsa may well further their prospects.

“Kalvin Phillips is an interesting one now off the back of Bielsa’s sacking. As we know, Villa have long been admirers of the England international.

“I’m expecting a summer of big change. [Steven] Gerrard’s already hinted at that.”

Kalvin Phillips admits to Villa lure

Villa were first on Phillips’ trail back in summer 2019 after Leeds’ play-off failure under Bielsa.

At the time, Villa saw bids of £20m and then £25m rejected, before Phillips signed a new deal.

Phillips has since admitted that he was swayed by Villa’s interest and, but for the intervention of his Granny Val, he may have made the move.

Speaking to Football Focus, Phillips was asked by Ian Wright about the interest from Villa and if Granny Val got involved. As cited by the Birmingham Mail, the Leeds midfielder admitted: “Yeah she did to be fair.

“The season we didn’t get promoted and we got knocked out in the play-offs – I was gutted man.

“I told her about Aston Villa being in touch and she was like ‘oh no, you are not doing that.’

“I was like ‘what do you mean? It’s a chance to play Premier League football, I have always wanted to do it.’

“She said ‘you have been at Leeds for 10 years now. You were this close to going up, why not give it one more shot to try and make it up. Try and do something that Leeds fans and your family will never forget and stick it out’.”

Whether Villa do rekindle their interest remains to be seen. However, Phillips’ deal now has just over two years left to run and talks over a new one are yet to see an agreement reached.

Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United are also reportedly keen.

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