Kalvin Phillips is highly unlikely to leave Leeds United for West Ham and will instead go to a “top, top club”, according to one pundit.
The 26-year-old has emerged as one of the first names on the team sheet for his boyhood club and has become a regular England international. Following his standout form in Leeds‘ return to the Premier League last term, he made the England Euro 2020 squad.
Phillips has had torrid luck with injuries this campaign but has returned in time to help Jesse Marsch’s side try and avoid relegation.
He will therefore have his eyes on a return to the Three Lions squad ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.
Further down the line, though, there is the issue of his future at Elland Road. Phillips’ current deals runs until 2024 and Leeds reportedly plan to offer him an extension.
Nevertheless, there is serious transfer interest in him, including from West Ham. The Hammers made more than one bid for the midfielder in January and are reportedly planning another approach.
According to former goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, though, West Ham are not the ideal next club for Phillips.
“Leeds and West Ham are massive clubs, that’s the first thing,” the 43-year-old told Football Insider.
“Phillips is a regular in the England squad. If he was going to move, would he not look somewhere bigger than West Ham?
“No disrespect to West Ham but surely he wants to play for a club who are regularly playing in the Champions League.
“If he is going to step away from Leeds then it has to be a top, top club.
“The Irons have had a cracking couple of years but they aren’t up there and if Phillips is available there will be competition.”
Kalvin Phillips should reject West Ham – pundit
Indeed, manager David Moyes has enjoyed fantastic success in his second spell at West Ham. His side are seeking Europa League glory this season after narrowly missing out on the Premier League’s top four last season.
They are back in the hunt for Champions League football next season and could yet qualify by winning the Europa League.
However, Kenny added that he “just can’t see” Phillips moving to West Ham.
“He could even turn down them to stay at Leeds,” the pundit said. “I’m not sure he will kick up a fuss about leaving if it’s only West Ham who come in.
“I just can’t see him in a West Ham shirt even if that big bid comes in.”
Leeds, West Ham facing midfielder dilemmas
While Phillips could soon be a man in demand at Leeds, West Ham man Declan Rice is already in that position.
What’s more, his future with the Hammers is already much more unclear than Phillips’ is at Leeds.
Rice’s deal also runs out in 2024 ahead of a one-year option for West Ham. Still, reports have claimed that he has no plans to extend his contract.
Manchester United are firmly in the hunt for the 23-year-old. They are preparing to lose Paul Pogba as a free agent.
Chelsea are also long-term admirers of Rice after rejecting him as a youth player, although their current off-field issues make a move from the Blues unclear.