Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips could be keen to join Aston Villa because of Steven Gerrard’s influence, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.
The Lowdown: Phillips rumours continue
The 26-year-old has endured an injury-plagued season for the Whites, proving to be mostly helpless in their battle to stave off the threat of relegation.
At the same time, Phillips has been continually linked with a move away from his boyhood club this summer, as he potentially eyes up a fresh challenge with a side chasing European football rather than running from the drop.
Villa are one of those to have shown an interest in the midfielder, who has been lauded as ‘phenomenal’ by former England manager Fabio Capello, with Gerrard reportedly plotting to launch a £60m bid this summer.
The Latest: Gerrard influence key?
Speaking to Give Me Sport about those rumours, Jones believes Gerrard’s legendary reputation in the game could be enough for Villa to snap up Phillips in the summer:
“I think if Kalvin Phillips were to leave Leeds, he would be looking for certain aspects to fit what he’s looking for. Aston Villa have got Steven Gerrard and that, obviously, is a massive positive for them in terms of persuading him.
“They’re going to be pushing for European football from this point on and that’s the aim, so that’ll suit him.”
The Verdict: Perfect mentor?
While Gerrard is clearly a legend of the game and someone any midfielder would want to learn from, a move to Villa still wouldn’t feel like a big enough step up for Phillips.
Granted, they are currently faring better than Leeds, but if the England international is to leave the club, it should be for a team playing in the Champions League rather than one currently sitting ninth in the Premier League table.
Only Phillips knows what his decision will be – so much may hinge on whether or not Leeds are relegation – but moving solely because of a manager who may not be at Villa Park forever would feel a little like a sideways move.
In other news, Leeds are thought to be keen on signing a defender. Find out who it is here.
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