According to Football Insider, Wolves are set to reignite interest in Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips this summer after having a bid rebuffed before the start of this season.
It is believed that the west Midlanders intend to monitor the 24-year-old’s situation at Elland Road during the remainder of this campaign ahead of a potential swoop.
The outcome of Leeds’ promotion push is likely to be the main stumbling block as if they earn a return to the top-flight, then the defensive midfielder is likely to remain at the club.
But their season has faltered in recent weeks, putting that quest at risk with four defeats in their last five and now a four-point gap to league leaders West Brom.
Wolves put their pursuit of central options in defence and midfield on hold in order to bolster their attacking department in January, so they may well look to revisit those positions this summer and the signing of Phillips is in the mould of a perfect target.
Under Marcelo Bielsa, he has been transformed from a box-to-box midfielder into a defensive-minded one with his long-ball distribution, short passing range and defending capabilities noted highly.
The man fans call the Yorkshire [Andrea] Pirlo can rival Leander Denoncker for that role in Nuno’s system with Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho more advanced options.
Phillips is averaging 2.9 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 5.2 long balls per game in the Championship this campaign (WhoScored), which is above anything the Belgian has put up even despite playing at centre-back at times. He is also managing 55.9 passes per game, which agrees with the above comments that he is a lynchpin in the anchor role.
Nuno may need to revert back to a 3-5-2 system to accommodate him, but it would certainly allow Neves to thrive further forward – an area he has regressed on, averaging 0.5 fewer shots per game this term.
The addition of the Leeds man this summer would undoubtedly be a lovely upgrade to Nuno’s engine room, and if there is any uncertainty, then the very fact that England manager Gareth Southgate has been monitoring him despite being in the second-flight should provide much-needed encouragement about his future potential.