Manchester City “About to Move” for Star Midfielder Strongly Targeted by Manchester United

Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips

Manchester City are reportedly about to move for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips who has also attracted interest from Manchester United, according to The Athletic’s Phil HayThe Leeds-born defensive midfielder is currently away on international duty with England, however, it is expected that City will submit a bid thought to be in the region of £45 – £50 million in the coming weeks. 

United are among the sides to have also targetted him, but a major complication of this deal is the strong historic rivalry between the Red Devils and Phillips’ boyhood club.

Leeds United Midfielder Kalvin Phillips Expected to Be Subject of a Bid From Manchester City

Could Phillips Leave Leeds?

While Phillips struggled with injuries in his second season in the Premier League, the interest in the Leeds United midfielder is thought to be high. Manchester United are reportedly interested in the England international, however, in recent weeks City seem to have emerged as the most likely destination should he decide to leave Leeds.

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With the Yorkshire club avoiding relegation to the Championship in dramatic fashion on the final day of the season, there is a glimmer of hope that Phillips may opt to stay at his boyhood club for at least another season. Nevertheless, the allure of Champions League football and playing for the Premier League champions may be too much for the 26-year-old to resist, as Manchester City look poised to test Leeds’ resolve with a bid. 

Hay also revealed in his report that Phillips is reportedly considering changing his representation, as his current contract with Yorkshire-based Palm Sports Management ends at the end of June 2022. It is thought that Stellar, the agency that handled Jack Grealish’s move to Manchester City last summer, is the frontrunner to represent Phillips going forward. 

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Currently, no formal offer has been submitted by Manchester City so anything at this stage is only speculation, although, it appears likely that the Premier League champions could make an official offer for the player in the coming weeks.

Where Would Phillips Fit for Manchester City

With the departure of 37-year-old defensive midfielder Fernandinho, Manchester City could be looking for more options in the position to provide competition to Rodri. The Spain international has proven to be a key player during his three seasons in Pep Guardiola’s system. Therefore it’s unlikely to envisage Phillips unseating Rodri for the no.6 position in the starting line-up. 

Guardiola could always opt to deploy a double pivot of Rodri and Phillips. However, with attacking talents such as Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva often utilised in midfield, it would likely mean sacrificing a starting spot for two of these players. 

Alternatively, the City boss could opt to use Phillips in the way that the departing Fernandinho was used this past season, as a replacement for Rodri from the bench or when the 25-year-old is in need of a rest. Fernandinho managed 33 appearances in the 2021/22 season in that role so it’s likely this will still result in significant minutes for Phillips, as the club look to make a push towards winning the Champions League. 

That being said, as Phillips is fast approaching his prime at 26 years old after making a name for himself in the England squad, the Leeds United midfielder may be looking for a more substantial role, especially during a World Cup year.