Leeds are thought to be expecting summer transfer interest in star midfielder Kalvin Phillips, with Premier League clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool and West Ham already linked.
Phillips thrived in the Premier League last season in his debut year as a top flight player and went on to be named England men’s player of the year following his performances at Euro 2020.
A recent hamstring injury has kept him sidelined since the start of December, but still just 26 years of age he is about the enter his peak years and has the potential to be long-term signing for a club able to offer him the chance to test himself in the Champions League.
There is little doubt that Phillips will remain a Leeds player beyond Monday night’s January transfer deadline. But the Daily Mail writes that while Leeds have ‘no wish’ to sell at any point, they are aware a ‘battle’ lies ahead to keep hold of him into the 2022/23 campaign.
Manchester United and Liverpool could both be in the market for a midfielder ahead of next season. The former lack real depth in the centre of the pitch and have previously been linked with Declan Rice, while the latter have several ageing stars and also face a decision over other fringe players.
The Times even mention that West Ham are ready to break their transfer record to sign Phillips, who remains under contract at Elland Road until 2024.
Others from further afield have also been linked with Phillips. Names mentioned include some of the biggest clubs in Europe, with Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and even Real Madrid rumoured to be keeping tabs on him.
It could be that Leeds prefer to sell Phillips abroad should it come to that, if it means not directly strengthening another Premier League team and having to play against him.