Manchester United will know they need to sign at least one first-team midfielder this summer.
After failing to extend Paul Pogba’s contract, as well as seeing trio Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata opt to follow the Frenchman out of Old Trafford, the Red Devils will undoubtedly need to fill the void left in central midfield.
One player who has been relentlessly linked with a surprise move to the 20-times league winners has been Leeds United and England’s Kalvin Phillips.
Phillips, 26, has enjoyed a massive breakthrough in the last couple of seasons.
Not only has the 26-year-old forced his way into Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad, but he has also grown to become one of the country’s most highly-rated defensive midfielders.
Speaking about just how impressed he has been with the Leeds United star, Southgate, who spoke to reporters last year, (as quoted by Yorkshire Evening Post), said: “He’s been excellent.
“The way he has taken to international football, it hasn’t surprised us because what we’d seen with Leeds, even in the Championship, we felt could convert into our team. We felt he could play an important role with us.
“To play in the enormity of the matches he did in the summer and play as well as he did is massive credit to him.
“He’s a very, very good player and he’s been a really important part of this – we’re 16 games unbeaten [in regulation time] now and he’s been a huge part of that.”
What has Fabrizio Romano said about Kalvin Phillips to Man United?
However, despite being at his boyhood club, with just two years left on his deal, this summer could be the Whites’ last big chance to secure a major transfer fee for their number 23 and that has promoted suggestions that one of the league’s biggest clubs could look to lure him away from manager Jesse Marsch.
Ahead of what looks to be a crucial summer transfer window for Phillips, leading football transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, has provided an update on both Manchester club’s pursuit of the Englishman.
“Kalvin Phillips hasn’t made any decisions about his future yet,” Romano wrote in his CaughtOffside column.
“Manchester United have his name on the list but it is not a priority, even because the player would not want to “betray” Leeds.
“In fact, the player does not rule out staying at Leeds for another year, but this will depend on the proposals.
“Manchester City are interested because after taking on Erling Haaland they will not invest insane amounts on a midfielder, but Philipps wants to wait before the talks enter the decisive stages.”
Since being promoted to Leeds United’s senior first-team back in 2015, Phillips has gone on to feature in 234 matches, in all competitions, directly contributing to 27 goals along the way.