25-year-old Leeds star eyed by PL giants- what should Bielsa do?

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Transfer News: Leeds United ace Kalvin Phillips eyed by Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur

According to transfer news on Spanish outlet Fichajes (h/t Burnley Express), Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur are targeting a deal for Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips. The midfielder is battling in the relegation zone with the Yorkshire-based club but has not dropped his performances from last season.

A through and through product of Leeds, Phillips was promoted to the senior team in 2015. The club were on the rise again and appointed Marcelo Bielsa a couple of years later. The Argentinian guided them back to the big-time and the English midfielder has been a pivotal part of it. However, he has been linked with a move away from his boyhood club recently.

Can Man City or Tottenham lure him away? And could Bielsa afford to let his prized asset leave Leeds?

Kalvin Phillips is more important than ever for Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United

Since gaining a spot in the first team, Phillips has gone on to make 224 appearances for the Peacocks. To add this, he has contributed to 27 goals in that time, a healthy return for any central defensive midfielder. His performances last season ensured a top-half finish for Leeds. Moreover, it warranted a place for him in the England squad for the European Championship.

Kalvin Phillips is being targeted by Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
Kalvin Phillips is being targeted by Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

The 25-year-old was starting ahead of Jordan Henderson and alongside a young Declan Rice. The more progressive of the two, it was surprising how naturally he took to the role. He led them to the final of the competition, but could not get the job done, despite running the hard yards in the final against Italy.

He has continued his good form into this season, even though Leeds have suffered in contrast. But Man City and Tottenham are apparently interested in landing his signature. Pep Guardiola might be looking to add to the riches in his squad. Antonio Conte might also appreciate a workhorse like the English international in his side. Thus, their interest is more than justified.

However, Bielsa should really not care about any of this. The central midfielder is important to the way his side functions, and it is no surprise he has played in 10 out of a possible 13 league games so far. He remains a hugely important part of this Leeds side and is perhaps their most prized asset after, or alongside, Patrick Bamford.

If they do hope of establishing themselves as a constant threat to the European spots in the league, Phillips is going to be vital for that progression. Thus, keeping him at the club is a no-brainer.

Finances might sway a move for Kalvin Phillips

Man City can flex their financial muscles when they want to. Jack Grealish is the prime example, as they lured him out of Aston Villa by paying a British record transfer fee this summer. Thus, one cannot predict the approach they may take for Grealish’s international teammate.

Can Marcelo Bielsa afford to let Kalvin Phillips leave Leeds United?
Can Marcelo Bielsa afford to let Kalvin Phillips leave Leeds United? (Getty Images)

It is basically a matter of how hard Leeds want to keep the player. If they feel that they can utilize the transfer fee they receive for him in a sustainable way, then who are we to debate that. But they definitely need to evaluate how they can go forward without Phillips if they do plan on doing so- not that there are any indications pointing towards that. 

Money can only do so much, but Villa failed to get going this season, and it cost Dean Smith his job. Bielsa will need to be aware of the repercussions and make an informed decision on his prized asset soon. 

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His contract ends in 2024, and thus, there isn’t any real urgency to offload him right now. According to Daily Star last month, Leeds even opened talks for a new deal. That shows that the club values him and would look to tie him down for more years at Elland Road. And once teams come for the 25-year-old after he signs a new deal, Leeds can have a stronger hand in any potential negotiations.