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Man Utd working on deal for Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips

Manchester United are working on a summer deal for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, according to Manchester Evening News.

The Red Devils were fancied to sign a quality defensive midfielder last summer, but eventually decided to bolster other key positions.

The decision has not proved worthwhile over the course of this season, and they may look to address the concern in the next transfer window.

West Ham United’s Declan Rice and Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham are among the prime targets, but they may not be achievable.

While Rice could cost a significant fee of around £150 million, Dortmund seem reluctant to lose Bellingham for at least another campaign.

Amidst this, United’s focus appears to have shifted towards Kalvin Phillips, who is currently one of the best defensive midfielders in the country.

He only recently returned from a four-month absence from a hamstring injury. Without him, it has been clear to see that Leeds have struggled.

A price tag has not been provided, but he could be sold this summer, having yet to renew his deal beyond the 2023/24 season.

The rivals have been in friendlier terms lately with Daniel James having joined Leeds from Old Trafford last summer.

Our view:

United are likely to go on a spending spree during this summer’s transfer window, but the exact budget may depend on whether they qualify for the Champions League or not.

With Erik ten Hag due to take charge, the onus could be on pursuing young players with room to improve over big-name signings. He will have the power to veto deals, but the board are going forward with their plans.

Among the above-mentioned trio, Bellingham appears the most lucrative signing, but United face an uphill battle of convincing him without the prospect of Champions League football.

That may not be the only stumbling block. While the teenager would want the assurance of regular starts, United have often tended to haggle over price tags which has delayed negotiations.

With a potential nine-figure sum on the table, it could be another repeat of the Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho saga. Considering this, Dortmund are unlikely to do any transfer business with them.

Hence, a deal for Phillips seems the most affordable and viable option. The 26-year-old is a genuine defensive midfielder, and has excelled in his duties for the Yorkshire outfit over the years.

The current campaign has been injured-plagued for the England international, but has still impressed with an average of 2.2 tackles and 1.2 interceptions won per league appearance.

Aston Villa are deemed to be planning a club-record £60 million bid for the midfield enforcer. The Red Devils may need to pay a similar fee to beat the Midlands outfit to the player’s signature.

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