Solskjaer previews Man Utd's clash with Villarreal
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Kalvin Phillips reportedly has a fear over Marcelo Bielsa’s future which could prompt him to complete a sensational transfer from Leeds to Manchester United. Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants a defensive midfielder to complete his dream XI following a big-spending summer.
Tom Heaton, Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo all arrived at Old Trafford but some supporters and pundits criticised the club for not adding to their midfield options.
Declan Rice was apparently targeted but West Ham priced the 22-year-old out of a move. The Hammers are widely believed to have valued Rice at around £100million, while boss David Moyes insisted that he is worth even more.
United could now turn to Rice’s England midfield partner Phillips and have been linked with a £60m transfer bid ahead of next summer.
And their pursuit of the 25-year-old could be made easier as Phillips supposedly has reservations over how long Bielsa will be Leeds’ head coach.
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According to the Daily Star, the Leeds-born star believes the Argentine could be gone at the end of the season.
Bielsa signed a new one-year contract in the summer which lasts until the summer of 2022.
Phillips’ own deal still has three years to run but he has plenty of suitors having been a key part of Bielsa’s revolution at Leeds.
The pair helped the club end their 16-year wait for promotion back to the Premier League in 2020. Leeds finished ninth last term.
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Phillips’ form was rewarded with a place in the England Euro 2020 squad, where he starred alongside Rice in a midfield duo.
His performances led to links with Liverpool and United but his agent, Kevin Sharp, insisted that Phillips was keen to remain at Elland Road.
“Before Kalvin signed his last contract, we had good interest so we sat down and explored all the pros and cons,” Sharp told i in July, towards the end of England’s Euro 2020 campaign.
“His desire was never to leave, it was to be rewarded and stay and play for the team he supported as a kid.
“Within the contract he signed in September 2019, we included provisions within it for if Leeds reached the Premier League, so it’s all set up for the top-flight.
“We knew it was a bit of a gamble, but we knew Leeds would get there under Bielsa and obviously they did.
“There may be clubs who are actually looking at Kalvin now because the more successful you are – playing for England in big tournaments – naturally breeds interest.
“But Kalvin is happy at Leeds and has no desire to move whatsoever. It’s more a case of ‘carry on what you’re doing for club and country”.
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