Journalist Paul Merson claimed in an interview with Sky Sports that Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips cannot move to Manchester United this summer.
As per the Manchester Evening News, United are interested in signing the England international, who could move away from Leeds in the summer. The Whites are currently involved in a relegation battle in the Premier League. They sit just a point above 18th-placed Burnley, who have played one less match.
Phillips also applauded the crowd in tears at the end of Leeds’ final home game of the season against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday, May 15. If they do get relegated, it could’ve perhaps been his last home match in a Leeds shirt.
While many clubs are interested in him, Merson believes Phillips cannot go to Manchester United because of their and Leeds’ rivalry. He said:
“I don’t think Phillips is too good for Aston Villa, who have been linked with him recently. It’s a massive football club and he would be playing under one of the greatest English footballers of our generation in Gerrard. So Villa would be an unbelievable move for him.”
“He can’t go to Manchester United because you play for Leeds, or you’re a Leeds fan. That’s an absolute no-go, even though Man United need him more than any player.”
Should Manchester United sign Kalvin Phillips to solve midfield conundrum?
Incoming manager Erik Ten Hag might as well be delighted to get his hands on a player like Kalvin Phillips. Widely recognized as one of the few upcoming ‘registas’ of this generation, the English midfielder has all the tools to excel in a possession-based system.
The 26-year old Phillips provides excellent defensive cover, something that the Red Devils have cried out for in recent months. His return of one goal and one assist in 32 appearances across competitions this season doesn’t justify his importance to Leeds. Phillips has a knack of showing up in big games and excels when he plays alone at the base of the midfield.
He was also brilliant in the EURO 2020 for England.
Overall, he can prove to be a good investment that safeguards the defensive midfield position for the time to come. United have already dealt with Leeds in recent times as they sold Daniel James to the Whites last summer. Hence, the rivalry could perhaps not matter if United put up a good fee for Phillips.