Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Leeds interest in Leipzig steal gets confirmation, but transfer hinges on blockbuster Kalvin Phillips exit

Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig midfielder, in Bundesliga action against VfL Bochum

A Leeds expert deemed the club’s interest in signing RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams ‘credible’, though a transfer would depend on the future of Kalvin Phillips.

Phillips, 26, has been the jewel in Leeds’ midfield crown for many a year. The Leeds native has become a regular with his national side too, with his formidable partnership with Declan Rice underpinning England’s march to the final of Euro 2020.

The Whites have already splashed the cash this summer by landing Rasmus Kristensen, Brenden Aaronson and Marc Roca.

Widespread reporting claimed those deals were separate to any potential sales of Kalvin Phillips or Raphinha who are both attracting widespread attention. In other words it was not a case of Leeds getting bodies through the door in preparation for their respective exits.

However, according to the Athletic’s Phil Hay, that situation could change for Leipzig’s Tyler Adams.

Fabrizio Romano previously reported the German side are open to selling the American international this summer. Adams, 23, operates primarily at holding midfield, though can be deployed in several other positions including right-back.

A report from Sky Germany put Leeds in the frame for the one-time Arsenal target. Hay confirmed the report is credible, but stressed a move would hinge on Phillips leaving first.

Hay wrote: “A report from Sky Sports in Germany crediting Leeds with an interest in RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams is credible but the club’s next move will be dependent on developments with Phillips.”

Phillips is on the radars of numerous top flight sides including Aston Villa, West Ham and Man City. Recent reports have claimed the former two have both bid for the Leeds ace, though Hay refuted that notion.

“They [Leeds] are yet to receive a formal offer for the England international,” added the trusted journalist.

Kalvin Phillips to Man City?

Instead, the likeliest destination if Phillips were to leave now appears to be the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola is seeking a reliable replacement for the outgoing Fernandinho. Phillips would struggle to displace the excellent Rodri, though the chance to win trophies and further his game under the tutelage of such as esteemed coach may appeal.

Leeds would seek to generate a fee upwards of around £50m if Phillips were sold. That would allow them to sign Adams and have plenty of cash left to spend elsewhere.

The Metro previously reported Adams holds a £32.35m release clause in his Leipzig contract. But with the German side now actively looking to sell, a deal might not cost the full amount.

Could Adams fill Phillips’ boots?

The obvious first benefit to bringing Adams to Elland Road is the Jesse Marsch connection.

The American managed his fellow countryman at Leipzig and knows first hand what Adams is capable of. If he had not made an impression during Marsch’s time at Leipzig, he would not be a target for Leeds.

The 23-year-old already has significant international and Champions League experience in his locker. What’s more, his underlying statistics make for great reading.

Darwin Nunez, Tyler Adams USA v Uruguay June 2022

Via FootballFanCast, Adams ranked in the top two percent of all midfielders in Europe’s top five league last year in the blocks per 90 minutes metric.

Elsewhere, he was among the top 20 percent for both passes attempted and pressures, and the top 25 percent for passes completed and progressive carries.

While it’s a stretch to think he’d match Phillips’ high standard from day one, the raw data suggests his signing could be a smart pick-up for the Whites.