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

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

However, given the public insistence on the part of 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.

As per Samuel 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.

While Leeds United and Manchester United don't often do business, Phillips could therefore 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, in the case the 26-year-old can be convinced to abandon his boyhood club.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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