Kalvin Phillips won’t be joining one of Leeds United’s biggest rivals this summer – for now…
That’s according to The Sun journalist Alan Nixon, who delivered a 12-word update on his future at Elland Road amid reports linking him with a move away in the off-season.
Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News claimed earlier this week that the Red Devils were working on a deal to sign the xx-year-old as a new defensive midfielder would be a priority under likely incoming boss Erik ten Hag.
However, Nixon has thrown cold water on those reports, suggesting that isn’t the case, at the moment.
“Manchester United DON’T have Kalvin Phillips on their wish list for now,” he told followers of his Patreon site.
Ultimately, this is a huge source of encouragement for anyone associated with Leeds, and not just because it’s the Old Trafford outfit being ruled out of a move.
Phillips is undoubtedly one of the Whites’ most integral players, even post-Marcelo Bielsa, and whilst he is yet to start for manager Jesse Marsch since returning from injury, he will surely play a key role going forward.
“I said it after the match that both [Phillips and Liam Cooper] will have a big effect on our group both on the pitch and off,” the American told reporters (via the Yorkshire Evening Post) after his comeback cameo against Southampton. He then added:
“And then to have Kalvin on the pitch, I think everybody saw that it brought poise to our group, that he helped settle the game down. I heard him say after the game that he didn’t do much but, just by being on the pitch for us, I think that that presence meant a lot.”
Also dubbed a “wonderful talent” by ex-Leeds man Michael Brown, there isn’t a player in the current squad that possesses the same skillset as Phillips – defensively a rock, averaging 2.1 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per game and he often starts many an attack, averaging 3.1 long balls and an 82.6% passing accuracy, via WhoScored.
Losing a player of that calibre, not just to any top-flight team, but an arch-rival rival like the Red Devils would be a bitter blow, following in the footsteps of Eric Cantona and Rio Ferdinand, whose reputation in west Yorkshire plummeted.
Nixon’s update will delight many around Elland Road, that’s for sure.