Leeds United promotion hero is ‘leading candidate’ to join Arsenal with January Elland Road return rated

Arsenal have their eye on a former Leeds United midfielder according to reports in Spain
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One of Leeds United’s promotion heroes in Kalvin Phillips is reportedly a ‘leading candidate’ to join Arsenal in January.

Phillips left Leeds for Manchester City in the summer of 2022 in a deal worth around £42m but has been a bit-part player under Pep Guardiola in his first 14 months at the club.

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Spanish outlet Fichajes reports Arsenal are keen to bolster their midfield options in January, with Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny both in the final year of their contracts with the Gunners, and Phillips is said to be a ‘leading candidate’ to join the North London outfit when the window opens.

Phillips was linked with a move away from City during the summer but insisted he was ready to fight for his place and would only consider leaving if he had not established a more regular spot in the starting XI.

Addressing his future in June, he said: “My intention is to stay. We have just won the treble, so there is no reason for me to leave, other than if I am not playing I will obviously have to think about it. I cannot give it 12 months and say: ‘I am not playing so I am going to leave.’ As you have seen with many players at City, it can take quite a while to cement yourself into the team.”

Phillips has made just five appearances for City this term, totalling 167 minutes. His only start was in the 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup last week. He only came off the bench in the 2-1 loss at Wolves last weekend despite first-choice midfielder Rodri sidelined by suspension.

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It seems Phillips’ future lies away from Man City, with a romantic return to Leeds currently priced at 8/1 by the bookmakers. Although it would be hard for the Whites to compete for his signature if there was Premier League interest in January. Phillips started his professional career with Leeds and made 234 appearances for his hometown club before making the move to Manchester.