Cantona 2.0? Manchester United ‘working on a deal’ for Leeds United star

On Thursday morning, 101 covered a report that suggested in an ideal world that Manchester United were targeting a move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, but that they would be unlikely to afford both him and Harry Kane, who they are also interested in.

However, given the very public insistence by the Hammers that Rice would cost £150 million, it seems as though the Red Devils are already looking elsewhere, with the Manchester Evening News reporting that a deal for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips is being worked on ahead of the arrival of a new manager, widely expected to be Erik Ten Hag.

Cantona 2.0? Manchester United ‘working on a deal’ for Leeds United star

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 07: Kalvin Phillips of England celebrates their side’s victory towards the fans after the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Semi-final match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium on July 07, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Tallis – Pool/Getty Images)

As per Simon Luckhurst ‘The United coach-elect Erik ten Hag would have a veto on any players United have already shortlisted but United are understood to be advancing on an intended deal to sign Phillips’.

Would Phillips be the answer?

Phillips, valued at around 60 million by boyhood club and arch-rivals Leeds United, would certainly be a major upgrade on current options in the middle of the park at Manchester United. While they will have to fight off interest from fellow Premier League side Aston Villa, he would immediately make the Red Devils more combative and difficult to play against than current pairing Scott McTominay and Fred.

And, while Leeds United and Manchester United don’t often do business, Phillips could follow in the footsteps of Eric Cantona and become another player that excels after swapping Yorkshire for Lancashire.

Although Phillips has missed much of this season through injury, he remains a top-level midfielder, relied upon by managers at both club and international level. He would certainly flourish at Old Trafford if he can be convinced to abandon his boyhood club.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 30 52 73
2 Liverpool FC 30 57 72
3 Chelsea FC 29 35 59
4 Tottenham Hotspur 30 15 54
5 Arsenal FC 29 10 54
6 West Ham United 31 11 51
7 Manchester United 30 8 51
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 31 6 49
9 Crystal Palace 30 4 37
10 Leicester City 28 -4 37
11 Aston Villa 30 0 36
12 Southampton FC 30 -9 36
13 Brighton & Hove Albion 30 -10 34
14 Brentford FC 31 -11 33
15 Newcastle United 30 -21 31
16 Leeds United 31 -33 30
17 Everton FC 28 -19 25
18 Watford FC 30 -28 22
19 Burnley FC 28 -18 21
20 Norwich City 30 -45 18
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 20
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 14
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 14
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur 12
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 12
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 12
Toney, Ivan Brentford FC 11
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 10
De Bruyne, Kevin Manchester City 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace 10
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 9
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 9
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 9
Raphinha Leeds United 9
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 9
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 8
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8

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