According to the latest reports from the Sun, Manchester United are targeting a shock move for Leeds United’s star midfielder Kalvin Phillips. Mike Phelan and Kieran McKenna have been scouting Phillips for the Manchester heavyweights recently. The duo saw him in action against the likes of Preston North End and Birmingham City.
It remains to be seen now whether the Premier League side will make any concrete approach for the midfielder in January. It is no surprise to see Kalvin Phillips attracting interest from the Premier League teams. He was linked heavily with a move to Aston Villa in the summer. However, Leeds United stuck to their guns, and they were able to keep hold of him.
Phillips’ valuation over £30m now?
The Whites’ hierarchy has often maintained that Phillips is central to their plans and they got him on a new long term contract recently. Therefore if the Red Devils are really keen on him, then they will have to pay big money to land him. Leeds were demanding £30m for him in the summer, and we think that they might ask more for him now that his long term future is secured at Elland Road.
The midfielder is once again a crucial player under Bielsa as he has started in every game in the Championship so far. Moreover, the Yorkshire side doesn’t have an outright defensive midfielder at their disposal apart from Phillips, so we don’t see the Whites sanctioning a move for him in January for any kind of transfer fees.
How can Bielsa keep him at Elland Road?
However, with big clubs now circling him, Leeds United will need to get back to the Premier League by next season if they want to keep hold of their ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’. A new contract will obviously act as a deterrent to prospective buyers. But it’s still not going to be enough if a big offer comes in from the Premier League, and the Whites are still rooted in the Championship.
It will also be unfair on the player to stay in the Championship for long given his abilities and talent. Moving to the Premier League will also open up doors for him in the national team if he does well in the English top flight.
It remains to be seen how real Manchester United’s interest is for the player. But as things stand, we don’t see a January move happening. If Phillips can get to the Premier League with Leeds United by next season, then we can expect him to stick with the Yorkshire club.