What’s the word?
According to Football Insider, the Midlands outfit – as well as West Ham United – have submitted offers for the 26-year-old in the current window, although the player seemingly ‘has his heart set’ on joining champions, Manchester City.
Where will Phillips end up?
The report suggests that the 23-cap gem will complete his move to the Etihad in the ‘coming weeks’, with the fee expected to be in the region of around £50m.
That follows recent speculation that Pep Guardiola’s side view the Yorkshire-born ace as a potential long-term replacement to Fernandinho, with the veteran Brazilian set to depart the club this summer.
Although the indications are that Phillips is on his way to the title winners, Steven Gerrard and co will no doubt retain hope that they can swoop in if the situation changes, with the £38k-per-week warrior seemingly the solution in their hunt to land a new midfielder this summer.
That search for an additional midfield recruit – having already signed highly-rated Frenchman, Boubacar Kamara – comes amid suggestions that Gerrard could be willing to cash in on regular starter John McGinn, with the Liverpool legend said to be ‘not totally convinced’ by the Scotland international.
Should the 27-year-old – who has been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur – be on his way this summer, Gerrard will be in need of another dynamic, midfield presence to fill the void, with the Leeds ace seemingly the man for the job.
Dubbed a “machine” by current Everton boss Frank Lampard, the £45m-rated man put himself firmly on the map at last summer’s European Championship, earning praise from former Three Lions manager Fabio Capello who dubbed him “the best modern midfielder” that he has seen.
That breakthrough tournament – which saw the defensive-minded talent feature in all seven games for Gareth Southgate’s side in the surge to the final – has been followed by a frustrating, injury-hit 2021/22 campaign, yet the Whites’ academy product has still impressed when he has featured.
Such has been his strong form in recent times, he compares favourably to those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, ranking in the top 2% for pressures, the top 3% for tackles and the top 4% for blocks made, showcasing just what an all-action gem he really is.
Were McGinn to face the axe this summer, Phillips would no doubt be an ideal replacement and even a possible upgrade in the eyes of the Villa boss and Johan Lange, with the hope being that they can try and rival City’s significant interest.