Leeds United are bracing themselves for the departure of Kalvin Phillips during the summer transfer window, according to The Athletic.
Leeds midfielder Phillips is attracting interest from some of the top sides in the country.
Premier League champions Manchester City have reportedly identified him as their primary target to replace the departing Fernandinho. Runners-up Liverpool, meanwhile, are also said to be eyeing the 26-year-old.
And Manchester United are even supposedly ‘working on a deal‘ too, having picked out Phillips as a cheaper alternative to West Ham’s Declan Rice.
The Englishman has two years left to run on his contract at Jesse Marsch’s side, but no significant progress has been made towards an extension.
Writing in a mailbag piece, journalist Laurie Whitwell shared insight from figures close to Leeds – ‘sources say’ Leeds are increasingly resigned to losing Phillips in the next couple of months.
There is, at least, a ‘strong sense’ that a move to ‘bitter rivals’ Man. United is off the table.
Phillips apparently knows that making the switch could effectively ruin his reputation at Elland Road.
This is worrying for Leeds fans given Phillips’ importance to the side.
Marsch says it was clear from the moment he arrived that Phillips has a positive ‘effect on the group’ because of ‘his personality, his quality [and] what he means to being part of Leeds United‘.
And the club’s supporters voted him their second-best player of 2021, only behind Raphinha.
The reality is that Phillips, England’s reigning Player of the Year, may want to be playing European football, rather than battling for survival as he did with Leeds last season.
The challenge for Leeds now is to extract the maximum price tag – they apparently want £60million – and to nail the replacement. Work is already underway, with Marc Roca of Bayern Munich identified as a possible successor.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience