Phil Hay has dropped an update on the future of Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips.
In a recent report for The Athletic, the journalist claimed that, according to his sources, Manchester United have begun to explore the possibility of a £50m move for the 26-year-old England international this summer, via intermediaries.
Hay went on to state that, while there is yet to be contact made with either Leeds United or Phillips himself, both interim United manager Ralf Rangnick and assistant manager Mike Phelan are thought to be big fans of the Whites academy graduate.
The journalist also revealed that, despite the midfielder looking set to leave his current agency firm for Stellar Group – the company responsible for negotiating Jack Grealish’s £100m switch from Aston Villa to Manchester City last summer – sources claim that this should not be taken as an indication that Phillips will be on the move at the end of the season.
In summary, Hay compares the midfielder’s current situation to that of Alan Smith 18 years ago – the Leeds centre-forward who ended up joining United in a £7m deal – before suggesting that the 26-year-old’s saga may well have a different outcome.
While it is clear that even a journalist with the access of Hay remains uncertain as to whether Phillips will end up making a move to Old Trafford this summer, his suggestion that United have not yet contacted Leeds regarding a deal for the midfielder – despite previous reports claiming that the Red Devils were making progress in a deal for the 19-time capped international – is sure to have left the Elland Road faithful buzzing.
Indeed, over his 29 Premier League appearances last season, the £45m-rated midfielder proved just how crucial a part of the Leeds side he is, making an average of 1.6 interceptions, 2.6 tackles, 1.7 clearances and winning 5.3 duels – at a success rate of 52% – per game.
The £38k-per-week talent also impressed in a creative capacity, bagging one goal, providing two assists and creating five big chances for his teammates, as well as completing an average of 1.2 key passes, 4.7 long balls and 41 passes per fixture.
These returns saw the 26-year-old average a quite remarkable SofaScore match rating of 7.21, not only ranking him as the Whites’ best performer in the league but also as the ninth-best midfielder in the division as a whole.
As such, while Phillips has only started 13 Premier League fixtures as a result of injury this season – something that has undoubtedly contributed to the club’s lowly league standing – it is clear for all to see that losing the services of the England international this summer would come as a massive blow to Jesse Marsch and his side – meaning Hay’s latest update is sure to come as music to the ears of Leeds supporters.