Manchester United are believed to be on the hunt for a defensive midfielder.
Manchester United are reportedly plotting a shock move for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips. It had previously been thought that Declan Rice could be the prime target in coming transfer windows, although West Ham are bound to make it difficult for any side chasing his signature which could challenge United to try and bridge the gap across the Pennines to lure Phillips towards Old Trafford.
Defensive midfield is seen as the only glaring area left for improvement in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad, which is otherwise packed with talent.
Even so, Fred and Scott McTominay are more than capable of doing a job there, but they pale in comparison to Chelsea’s midfield duo of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, for example.
Paul Pogba can also drop back into a defensive role, although his talents are better suited to playing further forwards.
Rice would surely be a welcome addition to Solskjaer’s ranks, and former Red Devils captain Roy Keane has singled him out as a player who would improve United.
However, the Hammers’ £100million asking price is eye-watering at best, while their reluctance to let him go screams ‘long-running transfer saga’, something United could do without.
According to The Daily Star, United are now redirecting their attention towards Phillips as a cheaper alternative.
Such a pursuit would surely cause friction as the two sides participate in a vicious rivalry, with Phillips working his way up to fan-favourite status and flaunting his ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ tag.
The 25-year-old has gone from strength to strength since stepping up to the Premier League, becoming a pillar of Gareth Southgate’s England midfield in the process.