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Manchester United turn attention to Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips after ending Declan Rice pursuit

Manchester United are considering a move for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips after ending their pursuit of West Ham United’s Declan Rice, The Star reports.

The Red Devils are prioritising a new defensive midfielder for next summer, and it was recently reported that the club are searching for alternatives to Rice.

While Rice remains the top target for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the hierarchy have divided opinions on whether the midfielder can improve the squad ahead of next season.

Meanwhile, the reported £90 million price tag has also put them off from a future approach, and they are now prepared to focus on pursuing Phillips from rivals Leeds.

Phillips has three years left on his current deal with his hometown club.

He is reluctant to leave, but his stance could change amid fears that manager Marcelo Bielsa could quit at the end of the season.

The 25-year-old has become a regular for the England national team this year. It is reported that a fee of around £60m could be sufficient to finalise a transfer agreement.

Our view:

Earlier last year, there were question marks over Kalvin Phillips’ selection for the Three Lions after he made his debut without playing a single minute of top-flight football.

Phillips has since proved himself in the Premier League with a string of top-notch performances.

He has now become an undisputed starter in the Three Lions’ midfield alongside Declan Rice.

Both players have been touted for big-club moves in the future. United seem to be eyeing a new defensive midfielder with Premier League experience, and it appears that they could go for Phillips.

The club have haggled over player valuations in the past, and they could struggle to convince the Hammers to lower their price tag, particularly with Rice contracted until 2024 with another 12 months.

Phillips will enter the final two years of his contract next summer, making him the more feasible target.

The lower asking price would also suit United to save funds for Erling Braut Haaland’s transfer.

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Read: Manchester United will pursue Erling Braut Haaland next summer despite Ronaldo’s arrival.

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