The Athletic’s Phil Hay has admitted that he expects it to be a “matter of time” before an offer comes in for Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips.
Reports in recent days have claimed that Manchester United have earmarked the England international as a key midfield target, and Hay has now suggested that while Phillips is expected to sign a new contract at Elland Road, he could still be off in the near future.
He said: “This is very much the right question with regards to Phillips. On one hand, a new deal will elevate his salary to the level an England international should be at. On the other, it hikes up his value to the highest possible level and there’s a lot of realism at Elland Road about Phillips’ trajectory. At this rate, it feels like a matter of time before someone bids big for him and in those circumstances, it’s not as simple as the club rejecting an offer.
“The situation would depend on whether Phillips wants to stay, how much the bid is worth and whether actually, a sale at the right time could work for everyone if the club know how they will reinvest. Leeds don’t want to lose him but they respect him enough not to want to hold him back either. He’s rapidly becoming Champions League material. But expect a new contract to be agreed before long.”
While a move to United seems unthinkable for a player who’s become the heartbeat of this Leeds side, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a number of European football’s top heavyweights to consider making a move for Phillips sometime soon.
If he continues to impress at club level, and also on international duty with England, more of these sides will sit up and take notice, and look to move for a player who remains only 25.
Aside from what he means to the club and the fan-base as a whole, Phillips has become one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League – last season, his 2.6 tackles per game ranked him in the top 15 players among the entire division, while his 1.6 interceptions per match were also good enough to make the top 20.
It was that form that saw him break into Gareth Southgate’s starting line-up for England and emerge as a key part of the midfield duo alongside Declan Rice that took the Three Lions all the way to the finals of the EUROs.
Hay’s latest claim that a big bid could be coming for Phillips is sure to leave fans gutted.