Kalvin Phillips has been linked with a move to Man Utd as they pursue Declan Rice alternatives but the Leeds star has risen through the club’s academy and his family may not be impressed by a switch to Old Trafford
Kalvin Phillips has emerged as a Manchester United target but his Leeds teammate admitted this year that the midfielder’s family “hate United”.
The midfielder is adored by the club’s fans and is hailed as ‘the Yorkshire Pirlo’ due to his performances at the base of midfield.
However those displays have attracted the interest of Leeds’ arch rivals, who are looking to add a central midfielder in the summer.
However one hurdle they may have to get over is the influence of the player’s family, who are believed to hate the club.
Phillips is born and bred in the city and has come through the club’s academy.
He is fully in tune with the rivalry that exists between the two clubs and last season, before Leeds hosted United at Elland Road, Patrick Bamford opened up on Phillips’ attitude towards the relationship and his family’s distain for the Manchester club.
“Kalvin’s one of them [who know what the game means],” he said on Instagram.
“He hasn’t played it up as much this time, but definitely the first time around we played them, he’s like ‘this is a massive game.’
“He’s tried to tone it down a little bit, but the fact it’s at Elland Road makes it better. A shame the fans aren’t there.”
He added: “This week he hasn’t said much. He’ll probably talk more the day before the game, but being from Leeds it’s massive for him as well.
“All his family hate United and they’re probably rooting for him and they’re probably telling him to say ‘make sure you tell the lads how big and crucial this game is.’
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“One of them where the rest of the season, while being important, this game is the main focus.”
Phillips signed a new deal back in 2019 that tied him down until 2024.
Leeds are understandably keen to agree fresh terms with their leading light as interest mounts from England’s elite.
Phillips has become a regular with England, where he plays alongside several United stars like Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford.
Over the years a host of players have crossed the divide with Eric Cantona perhaps the most high profile example.
He ignited the Sir Alex Ferguson era and the Scot also poached Rio Ferdinand and Alan Smith from the Yorkshire outfit.
Prior to that the likes of Gordon Strachan and Gordon McQueen also went from white to red.
United also retain an interest in Borussia Dortmund’s wonderkid Jude Bellingham, a player they made moves to sign before he headed to Germany.