Leeds United remain in serious danger of a Kalvin Phillips transfer away this summer, despite their survival in the Premier League.
The England midfielder timed his return from injury to perfection, as Leeds guaranteed their Premier League safety on a dramatic final day. Phillips, who missed a large period of the season with a ruptured hamstring, returned for their last eight games. And he played his part as Leeds, just about, squeeked over the line with a last-day win at Brentford.
The 26-year-old’s deal at Leeds expires in summer 2024 and talks over an extension have ground to a halt. Phillips has made it perfectly clear that he was willing to sign a new deal to stay at Elland Road. As a hometown hero he is idolised by their fans.
However, delays in negotiations saw talks put on hold until Leeds’ fate was known. To that end, handing the player an enormous contract given their perilous state may have been seen as a big risk.
That delay, though, appears to have opened the door for a string of admirers to make their move.
Indeed, West Ham saw a £50m approach rebuffed in January, while Aston Villa and Newcastle have since come to the fore. Links with Manchester United appear to count for little with the midfielder adamant in his views about a move to Old Trafford.
Star is No 1 Guardiola target
Manchester City, however, would be a different story altogether. They would be able to offer Phillips a shot at a regular push for medals. Furthermore, there is a space in their squad opening up for him in the wake of Fernandinho’s departure.
Indeed, as per the Daily Mail, City boss Pep Guardiola has now made Phillips his No 1 priority of the summer.
With a deal for Erling Haaland as good as done, City are now preparing to move for Phillips.
They claim Guardiola sees Phillips as having the ‘perfect profile’ to fit in with his squad. Furthermore, it’s claimed he sees a role for him in his side playing alongside and to the right of, Rodri.
Guardiola is now ready to take a short break following City’s title parade on Monday night.
But the Mail reckons a solid bid for the player will be forthcoming in a matter of weeks and once he returns.
Leeds fans wouldn’t begrudge Kalvin Phillips transfer to City
Having led Leeds United to safety, supporters of the club will have been hopeful that Phillips will sign a new deal at the club.
As such, a move to the likes of Villa, Newcastle or even West Ham simply would not make sense to fans. To that end, they would see the move as a bit of sideways step.
A move to Old Trafford would simply be unforgiveable. In Rio Ferdinand’s words, it would take a very brave man to make such a move.
However, were City to come calling, there would be few Leeds supporters who would begrudge him of such a move.
Kalvin Phillips deciding on next move
Kalvin Phillips is deciding on his summer move as Leeds United stay seems unlikely
In an ideal world, they would want him to stay. If not, then a switch to the Etihad would perhaps be the least nauseating option.
Leeds, of course, would want to also ensure they’re getting the right valuation for the player. The club will have seen the way West Ham have stubbornly refused to sell his England teammate Declan Rice. Indeed, David Moyes has even stuck a prohibitive £150m valuation on his captain.
And while Phillips wouldn’t fetch anywhere near that much, a deal of at least £50m must be considered a fair price.