AVFC transfer news: 'Serious statement' - Fresh claim on £60m star Villa 'strongly admire'

Aston Villa head coach Steven Gerrard

Aston Villa need to make a "serious statement" if they want to sign Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips at the end of the season, according to The Athletic journalist Gregg Evans.

The Midlands club have already shown their ambition in the early stages of the January transfer window by securing the services of Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho in a loan deal which has the option of being made permanent.

What's the latest news involving Phillips?

The Athletic have revealed that Villa 'strongly admire' Phillips after making several unsuccessful attempts to sign the 19-cap England international back in 2019.

It appears the November appointment of Steven Gerrard as the club's head coach, following the sacking of Dean Smith, could have bolstered their hopes of finally securing their man.

Phillips is known to be a fan of Gerrard and, during England's Euro 2020 campaign, he said the now-Villa boss is the one player he would like to bring back to the current Three Lions squad.

Villa are not Phillips' only admirers as, according to the Daily Star, Manchester United and Liverpool are set to battle it out in a bid to seal a £60million deal in the summer.

The report suggests the 26-year-old would opt to head to Anfield rather than Old Trafford if he had to choose between the arch-rivals.

Phillips is currently on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring injury during Leeds' draw with Brentford at the back-end of last year, ruling him out for two months.

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What has Gregg Evans said about Phillips?

Evans believes Villa would have to show they mean business before even attempting to prise Phillips away from Leeds at the end of the season.

Gerrard's charges are currently 13th in the Premier League standings and have registered more defeats than victories since the campaign got underway.

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Evans feels the Midlands club need to enjoy a successful second half to the season if they want to have any chance of welcoming Phillips to Villa Park.

The journalist told GIVEMESPORT: "Villa would need to make a serious, serious statement to try and get him in the summer."

Are Villa likely to succeed in their pursuit of Phillips?

There have been question marks over Phillips' future at Leeds despite still having two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract.

The doubts have come after there has been no confirmation of Phillips penning a fresh deal despite reportedly reaching an advanced stage in negotiations three months ago.

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However, just a matter of days before the transfer window reopened at the turn of the year, Phillips revealed he wants to commit his future to Leeds by signing a new contract.

That, combined with the fact Leeds will be desperate to keep hold of a player who has featured for them 226 times after coming through the Elland Road ranks, could make it difficult for Villa to conclude a switch.

Read More - January Transfer Window 2022: When does it open, when does it close and which players are going to move?

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