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Aston Villa can find Barry 2.0 in Kalvin Phillips

Aston Villa are reportedly interested in a move for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, with the Elland Road outfit believed to have named their price for the Englishman.

What’s the word?

According to the Mail, Steven Gerrard and co are ‘monitoring’ the situation regarding the player, with the 26-year-old potentially set to demand an improved contract, with just two years left to run on his existing deal.

The report suggests that the 19-cap international could command upwards of £100k-per-week due to his displays for both club and country, with Jesse Marsch’s side potentially set to cash in should they be unable to afford that figure – with a fee of around £60m possibly tempting them into a sale.

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Villa have also received a boost as the report outlines that the Leeds academy graduate is set to reject a move to Manchester United, despite the Red Devils’ interest, owing to the intense rivalry between those two clubs making such a switch highly controversial.

Barry 2.0

Should the Midlands-based side manage to get their man this summer, he could well prove to be a particularly astute purchase, with the club currently crying out for more midfield additions.

While the likes of Douglas Luiz, John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey have impressed in the centre of the park, there is little depth beyond that trio, with former Marseille man Morgan Sanson having struggled to adjust to the rigours of English football.

Should Villa sign Phillips?

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No thanks!

Yes please!

Yes please!

Equally, while Luiz usually slots in as the deepest of the three, the Brazilian is perhaps not an ideal fit as a holding midfielder, with Phillips – who has been dubbed “immense” by compatriot Marcus Rashford – offering a more defensive-minded presence in front of the back four.

Despite missing a large portion of the campaign through injury, the 5 foot 10 gem has still managed to showcase his talents for the Yorkshire outfit, registering 1.2 interceptions and 2.6 tackles per game thus far, while he also ranks in the top 2% for blocks and the top 1% for pressures made among players in his position across Europe’s top five leagues.

The £45m-rated midfield “destroyer” – as he was labelled by former Three Lions boss Steve McClaren – seemingly offers a neat comparison to former Villa and England star Gareth Barry, with the Premier League’s all-time appearance maker having forged a career as a defensive midfielder who could do a bit of everything, much like Phillips.

The 41-year-old spent the first 11 years of his senior career at Villa Park, making 436 appearances in all competitions and earning the club captaincy towards the latter end of his spell, before he was swept up among the wave of new signings during the early Sheik Mansour era at Manchester City.

As noted by his former teammate Ian Taylor, Barry was “Mr Reliable” both at Villa and throughout his playing career, with the current crop seemingly in need of a steady, calming presence at the base of the midfield.

That composed figure could well be that of the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’, with sporting director Johan Lange needing to get his chequebook out to snap him up in the upcoming transfer window.

In other news, “Gerrard really keen..“: Preece drops exciting Villa transfer claim, Lange must pounce

Article title: Aston Villa can find Barry 2.0 in Kalvin Phillips

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