In order to retain some of their negotiating power, Leeds United will need to remain in the Premier League but failure to stay in England’s top-flight could see the spine of their first team poached by other clubs.
One player’s future that is attracting the most speculation is midfielder and England international Kalvin Phillips.
The industrious midfielder has spent his entire career at Leeds United – joining their youth academy over 20-years-ago.
Although the Whites run through his veins, this summer could see the 26-year-old, who has just two years left on his deal, depart. The possibility of fans seeing one of their most loved players move on will undoubtedly be increased if manager Jesse Marsch cannot steer them to domestic safety.
Having already been linked to the likes of Manchester United, another club understood to be on the lookout for a new holding midfielder is Aston Villa.
That’s according to a recent report from the Daily Mail, who claim Steven Gerrard is a big fan of the Leeds United number 23 and views him as a replacement for current midfielder Douglas Luiz.
Luiz, 23, has been a mainstay in the Villians’ midfield since his move from Manchester City back in 2019.
However, with Gerrard rumoured to be prioritising a new defensive midfielder who can operate more efficiently alongside the likes of Jacob Ramsey and John McGinn, it is fair to assume Luiz doesn’t fit the English manager’s long-term plans.
One former pro who has already urged Phillips to snub a move to United in favour of a switch to Villa Park has been ex-England number one David James.
“I do believe Aston Villa and Manchester United should compete for Kalvin Phillips’ signature if he becomes available this summer. He’s one of my favourite players and that’s not solely due to his footballing talent, but he’s a wonderful human being too,” James told GGRecon earlier this month.
“The lure would naturally be Manchester United because of the size of the club but this is Kalvin Phillips who plays for Leeds United. But I also think playing under Steven Gerrard in that Aston Villa squad, and adding to that where Stevie wants to take them, I believe would be the right stepping stone for Kalvin Phillips.”
Since being promoted to the Whites’ senior first team in 2015 Phillips has gone on to feature in 226 matches, in all competitions, directly contributing to 27 goals along the way.