In April it was reportedly that Manchester United were working on a deal to sign Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips. He ended up putting pen to paper at Manchester City.
After enjoying a breakthrough season in 2020-21, Kalvin Phillips soon became an England regular, and it wasn’t long before he received praise from the mainstream media for his consistency only in the top-flight but on the international stage.
Although I think Phillips would have made for a good signing, it always felt like a deal that was never going to happen because of his allegiance to Leeds United.
The report in April from the Manchester Evening News, which stated United were confident of seeing off any competitors, did not mention City as a potential destination. Instead, it suggested that Aston Villa and West Ham were in the running for Phillips’ signature.
A lot changed on the transfer front when Erik ten Hag arrived. For instance, we didn’t see United linked with moves for Phillips or even Declan Rice. The primary target became Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, an entirely different type of holding midfielder to suggest the manager had different ideas for his team.
Then Phillips signed for City.
Cooling off stateside 🧊🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/vFD5hE3a5K
— Kalvin Phillips (@Kalvinphillips) July 17, 2022
In an interview with The Sun, Phillips is asked if a summer switch to United was ever an option, and said: “No, there was never any chance of me going there.
“You know my loyalty to Leeds, my family as well, they’re all Leeds fans.
“I was honoured by United wanting me, such a big team – one of the biggest teams in the world.
“But no, I had to stay loyal to Leeds and choose to go to the other side of Manchester.”
There was a follow up question about whether he thought it was an unusual stance to take.
Phillips replied: “I don’t know, it’s just the way I am, the way I think and the way I’ll always be.
“I want to be loyal to the people who’ve given me the biggest opportunity in the world.
“Leeds were the first team to sign me, I made sure that was one of the main things I’d do.”
We certainly hope United’s aren’t fishing in a pond without fish when it comes to De Jong.