Manchester United could target Kalvin Phillips as an alternative to Declan Rice, after Marcelo Bielsa was sacked by Leeds.
Last month, the Daily Mail reported that Phillips was after Champions League football, with Leeds reluctant to sell. Sunday’s sacking of Bielsa, could give Manchester United the green light to pursue Phillips rather than Rice, with West Ham expected to dig their heels in and keep the midfielder, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Phillips has been very open about his relationship with Bielsa, emphasising the positive impact the coach has had on his own career.
Thank you Marcelo for everything you have done for me.
You saw in me what I didn’t even see in myself. You helped me grow as a player but most importantly as a person.
Wishing you all the best in your next chapter.
Vamos Leeds Carajo!!
— Kalvin Phillips (@Kalvinphillips) February 27, 2022
Losing the manager who gave you the opportunity to express yourself in the Premier League and made you believe in yourself, may give Phillips the motivation to push on and seek a fresh challenge. With Leeds currently battling to stay in the league, Phillips certainly won’t want to be playing in the Championship again, so a move away from Elland Road is extremely likely if the Yorkshire club fail to stay up.
Staying in the division may not be the deciding factor for Phillips’ future, with the midfielder unlikely to want to be playing for a side towards the foot of the table. A regular for England in the last tournament, the 26-year-old will be keen to stay in the national team squad but with the emergence of Jude Bellingham and of course Declan Rice, Phillips may need to make the step up to a bigger club to hold down his place in the team.