Painful Kalvin Phillips exit avoided as Leeds United man tops Manchester City wishlist

Leeds United's Premier League survival ensures Manchester City and other potential suitors will have a fight on their hands to land Kalvin Phillips this summer

By Joe Donnohue
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 10:07 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 10:09 am

Leeds United will remain a Premier League entity for another season after their final day victory over Brentford.

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Where the buck stops for Leeds United season that sailed too close to the wind

The Whites looked destined for a return to the Championship before kick-off, but strikes from Raphinha and Jack Harrison defied the odds to save Leeds from the drop.

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TRANSFER: Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips is the subject of reported transfer interest from Manchester City (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

Newcastle United's Callum Wilson also pitched in with two goals of his own to send Burnley to the second tier, but Leeds' result took centre stage among those packed into the away end as jubilant scenes unfolded at the Brentford Community Stadium.

In staving off relegation, Leeds have avoided the cut-price fire-sale of key men such as Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha.

It is entirely possible the star duo may still leave Elland Road this summer, but at least with Premier League football and considerable bargaining power at boardroom level, Leeds' hand in negotiations has been strengthened.

Reports emerged last week that Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was keen to replace departing veteran Fernandinho with Phillips.

The England international is supposedly atop Guardiola's transfer wishlist this summer, despite Leeds and the player's preference to remain in West Yorkshire.

United remain confident they can persuade Phillips to sign a new contract with vastly improved terms now that Premier League football has been guaranteed for another 12 months.

Doubt would have been cast on Phillips' international future had Leeds dropped into the Championship and he had chosen to stay, however a sale seemed more than likely if the Whites had succumbed to the drop.

It is no secret the Premier League champions could pitch an astronomical offer but Phillips' ties to Elland Road are thought to be a genuine bargaining chip.

The mood among supporters is that most would not begrudge the Wortley native a transfer to an elite club such as City, if the financials are right on both sides of the deal and could facilitate a squad-wide rebuild.

Interest from the likes of Manchester United, Aston Villa and West Ham United is also set to subside with Leeds' top flight survival.

A switch to a club unlikely to challenge for titles is not thought to be enough of a draw for Phillips to depart, therefore avoiding a painful exit to positional or historic rivals.