Manchester United have given up hope of signing West Ham’s Declan Rice and turned their attention to Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips instead, say reports.
The Old Trafford club have been regularly linked with a swoop for Rice, but the Hammers have held firm with a £90 million valuation.
Bringing in a new defensive midfielder is a priority for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side next summer, and they are believed to be behind Liverpool in the race for teenage sensation Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund.
A move for Phillips would certainly stir up some old tensions once again, and bring an extra bite to what is already a fierce rivalry between United and Leeds.
Players like Eric Cantona, Rio Ferdinand and Alan Smith made the switch from Elland Road to Old Trafford in the past, but losing a key man like Phillips to their rivals would be a painful blow for the Lilywhites fans.
From United’s perspective, though, you can understand why the dynamic England star would be high on their wish-list.
The 25-year-old has taken to Premier League football like a duck to water since Leeds’ promotion last year, and was similarly quick to make the step up to international level.
Phillips started every game for England as they reached the final of Euro 2020 and he looks more than ready to prove his ability in the Champions League.
But for a Leeds-born lad and one-club man, departing his boyhood team for their rivals would likely be a difficult decision.
Subscribe to FourFourTwo today and get three issues delivered for just £3. The offer ends October 17, 2021.
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.