Manchester United are set to battle it out with bitter rivals Liverpool for Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips next summer.
United are desperate for a defensive midfielder, having not strengthened that area in the summer looking to have cost them dearly this campaign.
As a result, the club have basically been linked with every defensive mid in the Premier League and across Europe.
And the 25-year-old Phillips is no exception after a string of good performances last season and at the Euro’s earmarking him as a possible cheaper alternative.
But now Liverpool have joined the race knowing they need to bolster their own midfield ranks and have not been deterred by the £60 million price tag.
Phillips only has two years remaining on his current deal and is currently in talks over an extension, but it is thought he could be persuaded to leave if the right offer came along.
When fielding questions about his talisman’s future, Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa had the following to say:
“I’m sure the day he leaves Leeds and the way that he does it, far from provoking disappointment – of course it will generate disappointment – but it’s going to solidify his link to the club, the people and the city.
“I’m sure he would only leave if it’s guaranteed that the link to the place where he was born remains intact. He will know how to do it.”
Phillips has rejected moves away in the past but not from a footballing giant such as a United or a Liverpool.
It is thought given the option he would favour a move to Merseyside due to the fact his family still live in Leeds, and he would fear for their safety if he were to join United.
He wouldn’t be the first player to make such a switch, with Alan Smith the last player to do so in 2004, but it would end his god-like status with his hometown club.