Leeds United want to extend Kalvin Phillips’s contract beyond 2024 in a bid to keep him away from one of Premier League’s top six sides. They are desperate to keep hold of their star midfielder, who has been an integral figure at Elland Road in the last couple of years.
According to the Daily Star, Liverpool are keen to sign Kalvin Phillips but face competition from arch-rivals Manchester United for the Leeds United midfielder’s signature. The report adds the Englishman would prefer to move to Liverpool were he to leave the Elland Road, particularly due to the repercussions his family could suffer should he instead move to Manchester United—Leeds’ fierce rivals.
Phillips, 25, has enjoyed a meteoric rise in stock since helping Leeds United achieve promotion to the Premier League last year. The holding midfielder’s reputation has ascended further this year after bulldozing his way into Gareth Southgate’s plans and helping England reach the Euro 2020 final this summer.
Kalvin Phillips to Leeds United—A solid midfield option for Jurgen Klopp?
Liverpool failed to bring in a replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, who left Anfield on a free transfer to join Paris Saint-Germain in the summer. This saw Jurgen Klopp back teenage prodigy Harvey Elliot to fill the void left by Wijnaldum in the middle of the park and while he was excelling with his first taste of regular Premier League football, he suffered a cruel dislocated ankle against Leeds United in September.
At 35, James Milner is in the twilight of his career and cannot play week in week out. Jordan Henderson (32) and Thiago Alcantara (30) are also in their 30s, while Naby Keita continues to be injury-prone. Taking this into account, it is not surprising to see the Reds plotting midfield reinforcements next year.
Leeds star Kalvin Phillips has fallen on Liverpool’s radar and for all right reasons. A holding midfielder by trade, Phillips can also operate as an 8 in Klopp’s preferred 4-3-3 system. A midfield general, the England international excels with his passing ability, reading of the game, ball-winning and tackling skills. He possesses the engine to press with intensity and run throughout the game, making him such a competent player to have in the team.
Phillips has the dynamism, work ethic and passing skills to fit well in Klopp’s system at Anfield, whilst being a suitable long-term replacement for the ageing Henderson. The 25-year-old’s performances for both club and country have been impressive to date, thereby, demonstrating that he can step up and perform consistently for a top-four Premier League side.
Reportedly available at around £60m, the deal should be financially viable for Liverpool and they must do everything possible to beat Manchester United to Phillips’ signature in 2022.