The 26-year-old is reportedly on the radar of the Villans ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window, although it’s going to take a sizeable fee to prise him away from his boyhood club.
What is the latest news involving Phillips?
Phillips has previously been linked to Premier League giants Liverpool and Manchester United as they looked to make signing a holding midfielder one of their priorities ahead of next season.
However, a recent report in The Times claimed that Villa have now emerged as ‘frontrunners’ in the race for the England international’s signature.
It’s claimed that the Midlands outfit are prepared to pay £60 million to secure the services of the engine room operator after identifying him as a ‘key target’ to continue their progression on the pitch.
An enormous salary proposal is also being readied for Phillips, who could take home up to £10m a year if he joined Steven Gerrard’s charges over other potential suitors Newcastle United and West Ham.
Villa’s owners have shown plenty of ambition since they returned to the top-flight of English football at the start of 2019/20, spending around £350m on transfers, but this potential deal would be the most expensive of the lot by a considerable distance.
What has O’Rourke said about Phillips?
Emiliano Buendia became Villa’s most expensive acquisition last summer when he arrived from Norwich City in a deal that could rise to £38m.
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However, O’Rourke has stated how the ‘price tag’ mooted for Phillips would dwarf that figure should he make the switch to Villa Park.
He told GiveMeSport: “Especially at that price tag, £60 million will be a club-record signing for Villa if they were to do it.”
Do Aston Villa need Phillips?
Following a potentially season-ending injury picked up by Marvelous Nakamba, Douglas Luiz has established himself as Villa’s first-choice holding midfielder.
Gerrard, therefore, has begun the search for his long-term heir and even admitted that Brighton had rejected a bid for Yves Bissouma during the January window.
It seems as though Villa may have now switched their focus to Phillips in their search for a top-class midfielder, and a big-money move could well be on the cards.