Leeds United are reportedly gearing up for wholesale changes to their midfield this summer – with a report shedding surprising new light on the future of Kalvin Phillips.
The talismanic Leeds star is a man in demand. Despite a season wrecked by a hamstring injury that has limited him to just 12 Premier League starts, his talents are ones of interest to several sides. Indeed, the likes of Newcastle, West Ham and Aston Villa are among those reportedly keen on the England star.
However, just lately, it is Manchester United who are most prominently linked with a move for the 26-year-old. With incoming new boss Erik ten Tag looking to strengthen his midfield, Phillips’ name is seemingly one player he fancies.
Such a move to Old Trafford, however, would be highly controversial. As such, a report on Friday has explained three reasons why Phillips will not be moving to join the Red Devils.
However, claims in that Phillips wants to sign a new deal at Leeds have been quickly dismissed.
The midfielder’s arrangement at Elland Road is currently due to expire in summer 2024. Talks over an extension have been bubbling along for some months, with an agreement yet to be reached.
Given Leeds’ difficult second season back in the Premier League, it’s easy to see why.
And as per the Daily Mail, Leeds are firmly expecting Phillips to quit Leeds this summer.
They claim Jesse Marsch and Co are well aware of Phillips’ desire to move and will not stand in his way if anyone meets their asking price. Quite what that fee is likely to be, remains to be seen. However, Leeds would be quite within their rights to ask a minimum £50m fee for the England midfielder.
Grillitsch to replace Kalvin Phillips
Furthermore, the Mail claims Leeds are already planning for Phillips’ departure by planning to sign two players for their midfield.
First up will be Florian Grillitsch of Hoffenheim. The Austrian midfielder, who stands 6ft 2in, has been a regular in the Bundesliga side’s midfield for five seasons now.
A defensive midfielder, Grillitsch is also capable of filling in in the heart of defence if required.
However, with his deal due to expire this summer, he becomes a free agent. That has seemingly alerted Arsenal and Everton to his potential signing.
The Mail, however, expects Grillitsch to sign instead for Leeds, with the 26-year-old the Whites’ top target to replace Kalvin Phillips.
The fact he can move on a free also very appeals to Leeds, who will also be able to offer the player a quick route into the first team.
Leeds also ready to land Brenden Aaronson
United are also reportedly growing in confidence of a summer swoop to sign Brenden Aaronson.
The USA midfielder was strongly linked with Leeds during the January window. However, their two bids – of £15m and £20m – were firmly rebuffed by his club, RB Salzburg.
Leeds ready to try again for Brenden Aaronson
Bielsa's side saw opening bid worth £15m rejected by Salzburg
His excellent dribbling skills and vision from an advanced midfield position are seen as something Leeds have lacked since prime Pablo Hernandez.
And with 12 goals in 60 appearances for Salzburg, Aaaronson is seen as an important addition by Leeds this summer.
He also knows Marsch well from their time together in Austria.