Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd ‘advancing’ blockbuster transfer to give Ten Hag perfect welcome present from Leeds

Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha celebrate together

Man Utd are pushing to provide manager-to-be Erik ten Hag with the perfect midfield addition in the form of Leeds United ace Kalvin Phillips, per a report.

The next permanent manager of Manchester United now appears destined to be Erik ten Hag. Per ESPN, the Dutchman is the favoured choice of United chiefs Richard Arnold and Joel Glazer. Their report concluded a deal to appoint the Ajax boss will be finalised soon.

One of Ten Hag’s first jobs upon taking the reins will be determining what to do with the current squad.

Central midfield is one area sure to come under the microscope with that position a lightning rod for criticism in recent years.

Paul Pogba is due to leave as a free agent, while Nemanja Matic is in the twilight of his career at 33.

Fred and Scott McTominay will be retained, while Nottingham Forest loanee James Garner could be given a chance to impress.

However, to help reel in the likes of Liverpool and Man City, a greater calibre of player may be required.

As such, the Manchester Evening News report United are ‘working on’ a deal to sign Leeds ace Kalvin Phillips.

The 26-year-old has developed into one of the finest midfielders the Premier League has to offer at present. And given he is a boyhood Leeds fan, prising him away from Elland Road won’t be easy.

Indeed, the Daily Mail recently reported Phillips has told Leeds he is willing to extend his contract in West Yorkshire. His current deal expires in the summer of 2024.

Kalvin Phillips is happy to extend Leeds contract

Provided that Leeds stay up, Kalvin Phillips is reportedly happy to extend his contract at Leeds United.

Yet for Phillips to reach his true potential, a move to one of England’s elite may be required. That’s where Manchester United come in, with the MEN claiming a new defensive midfielder is their main priority this summer.

Declan Rice or Jude Bellingham are also targets, though they could cost upwards of £100m.

Phillips is seemingly a more gettable target despite the rivalry between the two clubs. As such, it’s stated United are ‘advancing’ on an ‘intended deal’ to snag Phillips.

Kalvin Phillips fits Rangnick profile

Phillips would also marry well with Ralf Rangnick’s vision of the type of players he wishes to sign. Rangnick will take up a consultancy role upon being relieved by Ten Hag and advising on transfers will be within his remit.

The German is seeking ‘hungry players’ who are looking for a ‘progressive career move’. Even with United’s struggles this season, few could argue moving from Leeds to United wouldn’t be a step up.

Ten Hag reportedly has the power to veto any players United’s recruitment team have shortlisted. Though the fact United are working on a deal right now would suggest he is on board with signing Phillips.

The midfielder is also known to be on Aston Villa’s list of summer targets. The Telegraph recently reported a £60m bid could be in the works – thus giving United an indication of how much a deal could cost.