Manchester United are interested in signing Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, according to The Sun.
They claim United’s assistant manager Mike Phelan watched the midfielder at Elland Road as their historic rivals took on Birmingham.
The report mentions Phelan then sent coach Kieran McKenna to watch him against Preston on Tuesday as United continue to plan ahead for the summer transfer window.
It says United know it’d cost “big money” to land Phillips, particularly considering the rivalry between the two clubs, but that isn’t stopping them from keeping tabs on him.
Leeds rejected a £27million bid from Tottenham for the Englishman in the summer because of fears of how Marcelo Bielsa would react.
According to The Athletic, they refused to consider any offers for him this summer because the manager signed up to a second season at Elland Road under the assurance that Phillips would be going nowhere.
He signed a new five-year contract with the club in September after the likes of Aston Villa, Sheffield United, Wolves and Burnley were being linked, but this report now puts United in pole position for his signature.
Phillips could be exactly what United have been missing in midfield, in the fact that he’d provide stability to allow the likes of Paul Pogba to express himself further up the pitch.
He’s been a constant for Leeds again this season, having started all 14 games in the Championship, making 1.9 key passes on average per game and 4.1 successful tackles per game too. He’s the complete midfielder.
At 23-years-old he’s showing maturity beyond his years, receiving just three yellow cards this season despite being the man to join Leeds’ attacking midfield to their high-pressed defence.
Man United have only conceded nine all season (prior to their match with Norwich City), and only three teams have conceded less, but that’s been at the expense of the attack.
Phillips has the ability to look after the defence and let the players who should be creating goals drive forward and attack the box as Daniel James and Marcus Rashford did against Liverpool last weekend.
The deal would be hard to get done considering the historic rivalry, the high fee and Bielsa’s reluctance to let Phillips go, but it’d be a move well worth the hassle for Man United.
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