Paper Talk: Man Utd abandon major deal as priority switches to shock Leeds raid

Date published: Tuesday 28th September 2021 8:32 - Samuel Bannister

Manchester United have ended one midfield pursuit in favour of another, while Aston Villa risk losing another of their academy graduates to Manchester City – all in Tuesday’s transfer gossip.

MAN UTD PREFER PHILLIPS TO RICE

Manchester United may shift their attention away from West Ham midfielder Declan Rice towards his England partner Kalvin Phillips.

That’s according to the Daily Star, who speculate that Man Utd want to pluck a top talent from their rivals Leeds.

Phillips has spent his entire career so far at Leeds and his patience at reaching the top level has paid off. After a positive debut season in the Premier League, he was a cornerstone of the England side that reached the Euro 2020 final.

As a result of his rise to prominence, Phillips may be rewarded with a huge new Leeds contract – as we exclusively revealed. Some of their signings from last summer earn more than him, so he could get a rise that reflects his true value.

But there is also the chance that Leeds will have to fend off interest from richer clubs in the months ahead.

Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips

According to the Daily Star, Man Utd are now looking at Phillips as an alternative to Rice, who so far has been their main defensive midfield target.

It is an obvious position for the Red Devils to strengthen after reinforcing in attack and defence this summer. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-choice pairing at the base of midfield remains Fred and Scott McTominay; either Rice or Phillips would be an upgrade.

Man Utd move on from Rice

And with Rice’s price tag escalating, there is supposedly a feeling at Old Trafford that Phillips may be better value for money. That is, of course, if Leeds would be willing to consider selling their star man to one of their arch enemies.

The Star also report that Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund would be an option, but Liverpool seem likeliest to land the England talent at present.

Therefore, Man Utd are looking at Phillips, 25, instead. The report claims Leeds would be looking for a minimum of £60m before even considering selling him.

From the player’s perspective, he remains keen to continue at Leeds. However, if Marcelo Bielsa leaves at the end of the season – he only signs one-year contracts – he could contemplate his own future.

Whether he would choose Man Utd as his next destination seems doubtable, but anything is possible.


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VILLA STAR EYED BY CITY

Jacob Ramsey during match between Aston Villa and Everton

Manchester City are keeping tabs on emerging Aston Villa midfielder Jacob Ramsey. It would follow up their summer signing of Jack Grealish. (Fichajes)

Jose Mourinho could raid his former club Tottenham to strengthen the midfield of his current employers Roma with Tanguy Ndombele. (Calciomercato)

West Ham have already held talks over the possible signing of Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie. (Football Insider)

Franck Kessie will decide his future in January, but a move to the Premier League is a possibility for the AC Milan midfielder. Liverpool and Man Utd would be suitors. (90min)

Tottenham avoided a deal for striker target Danny Ings this summer due to the costs it would have taken to usurp Aston Villa’s offers for the man they signed from Southampton. (The Telegraph)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s job as Manchester United manager is not under threat. (ESPN)

EVERTON FORWARD RAISES FUTURE DOUBT

Richarlison TEAMtalk

Richarlison has confessed he is unsure about his Everton future. (Liverpool Echo)

West Ham will continue their pursuit of Genk striker Paul Onuachu and could sign him in January. (Sport/Foot)

AC Milan could rival Arsenal for the signing of Club Brugge winger Noa Lang. (Voetbal24)

Achraf Hakimi says Mauricio Pochettino was the reason he snubbed Chelsea in favour of PSG. (L’Equipe)

Everton remain keen on Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles, but Rafael Benitez would want to use him as a right-back, which is not his preferred role. (TransferMarketWeb)

Thierry Henry has sent a reminder that Daniel Ek remains committed to his takeover bid for Arsenal. (Sky Sports)

AND MORE TRANSFER GOSSIP

Crystal Palace are looking at Everton midfielder Tom Davies. (Football Insider)

West Brom teenage striker Reyes Cleary is attracting interest from Borussia Dortmund and Hoffenheim in Germany. (Daily Mail)

Juan Mata will consider his Manchester United future in January if his playing time does not increase. (Manchester Evening News)

Real Madrid may bid for Manchester City owned full-back Pedro Porro, who is impressing on loan at Sporting CP. (O Jogo)

Barcelona could offer Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and Memphis Depay to Juventus in order to sign Matthijs De Ligt. (Calciomercato)

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