Transfer News: Manchester United ‘working’ on a deal to sign 26-year-old star playing for fierce rivals

Transfer News: Manchester United working on a deal to sign Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips

According to Manchester Evening News, Manchester United are working on a deal to sign Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips in the upcoming summer transfer window to bolster their midfield options.

United have struggled this season due to their weak midfield this season, with the current options available in the squad unable to impress and impose themselves in big games against stronger opposition.

The lack of a defensive midfielder has somewhat hurt our chances of securing a top-four finish by the summer, as we lack a player who can shield the rearguard effectively, given the number of cheap goals we have conceded this term from open plays from the midfield area.

Kalvin Phillips has been targetted by Manchester United for a summer move. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Kalvin Phillips has been targetted by Manchester United for a summer move. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Phillips is an ideal candidate to address these issues, given that he plays in the same role for Leeds. He has been hugely impressive for the Yorkshire club over the past few years, helping them gain promotion to the Premier League in 2020 and continuing his good form in the top flight as well.

Defensive midfielder needed

Despite already being a star for his club, the 26-year-old really made a name for himself while turning out for England last year when he led the Three Lions to the UEFA 2020 Euros final, playing in the middle of the park alongside Declan Rice.

Although the Red Devils are interested in Rice and Phillips’ England teammate Jude Bellingham, the former is better utilised as a box-to-box midfielder while the latter is known for his creativity. Given that United have prioritised a defensive midfielder after not signing one last year, a move for Phillips in the summer ticks the necessary boxes. 

Man Utd are preparing a deal to sign Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Man Utd are preparing a deal to sign Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

At the moment, the Manchester side only has Nemanja Matic who can naturally operate in the defensive midfield position – it is what he was best known for at Chelsea, before he moved to Old Trafford in 2017. At 33, the player seems to be waning in his performances, and it cannot be said how long he will last at the top for the club.

Furthermore, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick have preferred to use a double pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay instead of playing Matic in the middle, which has not borne fruit as of yet. The pair have been underwhelming over the past couple of seasons and are prone to making errors that have seen us give up possession, while the Serbian is in the twilight years of his career.

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This is where Phillips could come in and change the fortunes of the team, given how his main strengths offset the issues plaguing the current United side. Although the player has interest from  Aston Villa and West Ham, the Red Devils are said to be confident of securing his services in the event of a transfer battle.

Hopefully, the club are able to put together an attractive offer to prise the Englishman away from Leeds. He is tied to Elland Road until 2024 and discussions over a renewal have not had a breakthrough as of yet, so this may be the perfect time for us to pounce and poach him away to Manchester.