Aston Villa will be at the front of the queue to sign Kalvin Phillips if it becomes clear the midfielder could leave Leeds United this summer, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.
Steven Gerrard was appointed as the Midlands club’s head coach in November and it appears he has already set his sights on adding reinforcements to his squad ahead of the transfer window reopening for business.
What’s the latest news involving Phillips?
According to The Times, Villa have emerged as the frontrunners to sign Phillips and are willing to part with £60million to lure him away from Elland Road.
The report suggests the 26-year-old would be in line to secure a contract worth in excess of £10million-per-year as Gerrard has identified Phillips as a key target and is keen to beat the likes of West Ham United and Newcastle United to his signature.
West Ham’s interest in the 19-cap England international became clear when they tabled a £50million offer during the closing stages of the January transfer window and, although the proposal proved to be unsuccessful, they are expected to return with a fresh bid.
Liverpool and Manchester United are also known to have been admirers, with it previously reported that they were preparing to battle it out for the midfielder’s services at the end of the season.
Phillips’ £38,000-per-week Leeds contract is not due to expire until the summer of 2024, so suitors will need to meet his current employers’ financial demands if they want to persuade his boyhood club to head to the negotiating table.
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What has Pete O’Rourke said about Phillips?
O’Rourke believes Villa will be watching on with interest as they look to strike a deal which will take Phillips to the Midlands.
The journalist feels Gerrard is ready to pounce if there is even the smallest possibility that the central midfielder could be made available.
O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “If there is an inkling that Kalvin Phillips might leave Leeds in the summer, I’m sure Villa will be right there to sign him.”
What are Villa’s current midfield options?
Villa will head into the summer transfer window with a host of midfield options already at Gerrard’s disposal, including the likes of Douglas Luiz, John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey.
However, there are question marks over Luiz’s future as he is set to enter the final 12 months of his £52,000-per-week contract at Villa Park.
If he were to move on, Phillips could be seen as a direct replacement for the Brazilian.