Aston Villa: Gerrard 'will try to sign' £60m star at Villa Park

Aston Villa head coach Steven Gerrard acknowledging the fans

Aston Villa will be ‘right in there amongst it’ trying to sign Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips this summer, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The 26-year-old’s future remains firmly up in the air heading into the final day of the season and Leeds’ fate is likely to dictate where he will be plying his trade next term.

What is the latest news involving Phillips?

Phillips became a household name following an outstanding 2021/22 campaign where he played a pivotal role in the successes of both club and country, being described as ‘immense’ by compatriot Marcus Rashford.

The defensive-minded dynamo made 29 Premier League appearances for Leeds as they finished ninth in the top-flight standings before missing just 25 minutes of Euro 2020 as England lost on penalties to Italy in the final.

And although Phillips, who reportedly earns £38,000-per-week, has been hit by multiple injuries in the current campaign, several sides are clambering for his signature.

According to The Times, Villa are leading the race for the engine room operator and are prepared to pay £60 million for his services, with West Ham and Newcastle United also listed as potential suitors.

But a recent report in the Daily Mail has revealed Phillips is one of several Leeds stars who has a relegation release clause in his contract, meaning he could be available in a cut-price deal.

What has O’Rourke said about Phillips?

Leeds are sitting in the relegation zone with just one game left to play, and it’s unlikely that Phillips would be willing to spend another season in the Championship, especially with the World Cup just months away.

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And O’Rourke believes Villa will be one of the clubs ‘trying to sign’ the in-demand ace ‘depending on what happens’ with the Whites.

He told GiveMeSport: “If Leeds were to go down, I’m sure Villa will be right in there amongst it trying to sign Kalvin Phillips as well as a number of other clubs. But it’s going to be a big summer ahead for Phillips, depending on what happens with Leeds.”

Would Phillips be an upgrade on Douglas Luiz?

Douglas Luiz has started most games as the holding midfielder during Steven Gerrard’s short Villa Park reign, but the Brazil international appears to be edging towards the exit door.

Nevertheless, Gerrard could secure himself an upgrade if he’s able to entice Phillips to the Midlands outfit.

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As per FBref, Phillips has won 2. 40 tackles, made 8.44 successful pressures, pulled off 2.28 blocks and completed 1.50 clearances per 90 minutes this season, bettering Luiz’s tallies of 1.40, 5.24, 1.44 and 0.96, respectively.

Only time will tell who Phillips is turning out for come August, yet his arrival at Villa would surely be seen as a significant coup for Gerrard and co.

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