This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to Football Insider, Wolves will continue to keep tabs on Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips this season after having a bid knocked back during the summer.
One of those clubs is believed to be Wolves, even though the club already has Ruben Neves performing well in a very similar role – scoring 13 goals and laying on five assists in 90 appearances in the west Midlands, per Transfermarkt.
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It is thought that the club will continue to watch the 23-year-old this season in preparation for another attempt at signing him next year.
Phillips has featured in all eight of United’s matches this season, playing every single minute available, so that only shows his importance to Marco Bielsa and his side.
Wolves can bide their time on this one.
They’ve got Neves, Leander Dendoncker and Romain Saiss rotating that position this season which is adequate enough cover.
The latter started against Everton and scored a first-half equaliser, as well as recording a rating of 7.07, per WhoScored – showing he is capable enough for the time being.
It has also been revealed that the Leeds anchorman has a release clause in his new five-year contract, so should they not get promoted, he will be available for between £20m and £25m, if reports are to be believed.
In a market that is becoming increasingly defined by the absurdity of transfer fees, Phillips would represent a massive bargain. He is a homegrown talent who has showcased huge potential in the Championship, earning his place in the 2018/19 EFL Championship team of the season.
Sean Longstaff and John McGinn – two fellow homegrown central midfielders – were both linked with £50m moves to Manchester United last summer, while West Ham reportedly placed an £80m price-tag on Declan Rice’s head amid interest from both of the Manchester giants. At the other end of the footballing spectrum, Manchester City broke their transfer record to land Rodri from Atletico Madrid in a £63m deal.
Evidently, outstanding central midfielders do not come cheap for Premier League clubs. Given the standard of Phillips’ performances since Marcelo Bielsa took charge at Elland Road and the aforementioned price-tags, there is no question that a £20-25m deal would represent excellent business for Wolves.
That is a similar amount to what Wolves would have bid for him this summer, so if he puts in another fantastic season and they don’t go up, the club won’t have to fork out even more than before – which is either incredible value for Wolves or dire foresight from the hierarchy at the Championship club.