Manchester United have been dealt a bitter blow in their pursuit of Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips.
That’s according to a recent report from the Daily Star, who claims the Red Devils view Phillips, 25, as the ideal candidate to relieve their defensive midfielder woes.
However, after growing to become such a prominent figure under Marcelo Bielsa, Phillips, who is also a full England international, has now become a fan-favourite at Elland Road.
After emerging as one of the Premier League’s most well-rounded holding midfielders, giants Manchester United are understood to be big admirers and could be weighing up a £60m move.
However, despite the Red Devils’ interest in Phillips, the 25-year-old is understood to have told those closest to him that he fears a move to Old Trafford would pose a threat for his family, who could become subject to abuse from fans.
Fierce rivals, Manchester United and Leeds United is one of football’s biggest derbies and never does a player moving from club to other go down well among supporters – Phillips, despite being the Whites’ biggest player, would certainly be no exception.
These reports could now pave the way for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to enter the mix and while a potential switch to Anfield wouldn’t be to Leeds fans’ liking either – the player wouldn’t receive half as much backlash as if he were to link up with Cristiano Ronaldo and co.
Klopp’s Liverpool is believed to be on the lookout for a new midfielder, especially since Georginio Wijnaldum opted to join Paris-Saint Germain earlier this summer, and Phillips could prove the perfect fit for the notoriously hard-working Reds.
Destined to secure himself a bumper move at some point in the future, although a large section of Leeds United fans won’t begrudge their English star taking the next step in his career, a move to their most hated rivals will not be tolerated and that, by all accounts, is a frightening prospect for the midfielder.
Since joining Leeds United’s youth academy all the way back in 2010, Phillips, whose contract runs until 2024, has gone on to feature in 223 senior first-team matches, in all competitions, contributing to 27 goals, along the way.