Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips is attracting a significant amount of transfer interest from the reigning Premier League champions.
That’s according to a report by Spanish media outlet Fichajes (via Leeds Live), who claimed that Pep Guardiola is lining up a move for the England international as a long-term successor to Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho.
The report added that the 25-year-old would be available to sign for as little as €30m (£25.5m), and he is seen as a perfect option for the Spaniard following his development under Marcelo Bielsa.
However, Leeds Live claimed that, due to the player’s contract situation at Elland Road – with his current deal running until 2024 – as well as his happiness at the club, the figure that Fichajes claim would be enough to sign the midfielder appears extremely low.
While it would appear an extremely unlikely scenario that Victor Orta would be willing to part with a player as important to Leeds as Phillips for £10.5m less than his current Transfermarkt valuation of £36m, it would undoubtedly be the director of football’s biggest mistake since his appointment at the club if he were to sanction the sale of the England midfielder..
Since Bielsa’s arrival at Leeds back in 2018, Phillips has been transformed into one of the best defensive midfielders in the English game, consistently turning in highly impressive performances for the Whites during their ascent back to the Premier League.
Indeed, over the £35k-per-week man’s 42 Championship appearances back in 2018/19, the midfielder averaged a SofaScore match rating of 6.91, ranking him as the club’s joint eighth-best performer that season.
The 25-year-old improved on these returns in Leeds’ promotion-winning campaign the following year, averaging a match rating of 7.28 over 37 second-tier fixtures, ranking him as the Whites’ second-best player in the league.
Phillips subsequently took the step up to the Premier League comfortably in his stride, averaging a rather remarkable SofaScore match rating of 7.21 over his 29 top-flight appearances last season, ranking him as Bielsa’s best performer in his debut campaign in the top tier of English football.
As such, it is unsurprising to learn of Manchester City’s interest in the midfielder, as it is clear that Phillips boasts the ability to improve the majority of teams in the country. That is exactly why Orta must resist the urge to cash in on the England star, and why Bielsa would be livid with the Leeds director of football should he indeed sell the 25-year-old.