Gary Nevill say Manchester United's treble win helped the Premier League
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Manchester United have been dealt a huge blow in their plans to sign a new central midfielder, as Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips reportedly has a desire to pen his future to the club. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are targeting a defensive midfielder to protect the back four, after prioritising a new right-winger and central defender this season.
And according to the Daily Star, the Leeds midfield general emerged as one of United’s top targets to occupy the central area for the Reds.
However, Phillips’ agent Kevin Sharp, appears to have all but ended any possibility of a controversial transfer between the bitter rivals happening, saying there is a “willingness” between both the England star and club to agree a new deal.
“I can only see a positive outcome,” Sharp said to the Telegraph (cited by Leeds Live).
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“Kalvin’s desire is to stay at Leeds and there is a real willingness from all sides to make it happen.”
Phillips’ loyalty will be of no surprise to Leeds supporters who have watched him grow from a young prodigy in the U18s to the vital midfield anchor at Elland Road and for England.
Sharp told Inews (cited by Leeds Live) earlier in the year, “Before Kalvin signed his last contract, we had good interest so we sat down and explored all the pros and cons.
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“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 (Marcelo) 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’.”
United have also been linked with Phillips’ England midfield partner Declan Rice, however, ESPN reported Old Trafford chiefs have begun to have doubts over the West Ham star.
It is understood United scouts have doubts about Rice’s speed with and without the ball, especially as he is believed to be valued at around £80m by West Ham.
Solskjaer has fielded defensive midfield duo Scott McTominay and Fred multiple times this season, but it is felt the Norwegian boss only wants to play with one defensive midfielder.
Phillips would have fit the mould perfectly as he tends to feature as a sole ‘No.6’ midfielder for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Unfortunately for the Reds, any hope of a potential £60m move looks to be over amid Sharp’s quotes.
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