Manchester United plot move for Leeds star Kalvin Phillips after abandoning Declan Rice chase

Leeds and England star Kalvin Phillips is firmly on Manchester United’s radar (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United will reportedly concentrate their efforts on signing Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips after bringing their pursuit of Declan Rice to a halt.

The Red Devils strengthened at either end of the pitch in the summer transfer window, spending in excess of £130million on Raphael Varane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho with a view to becoming genuine title contenders in the Premier League.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will next prioritise signing a top-class defensive midfielder, with West Ham and England star Rice, 22, the club’s primary target in this position for the last 12 to 18 months.

But according to The Daily Star, Rice’s price tag has rocketed following his outstanding Euro 2020 campaign with England and United are unwilling to match the Hammers’ eye-watering £90m valuation.

This has forced United to scour the market for cheaper alternatives and the report suggests Rice’s Three Lions team-mate, Phillips, 25, has jumped to the top of their wishlist.

It’s claimed United’s bitter rivals, Leeds, would demand a fee of around £60m for their academy product, who was tentatively linked with Liverpool in the summer.

The Red Devils have turned their attention from Rice to Phillips (Picture: Getty)

Phillips made his debut for his boyhood team seven years ago and has been integral to the club’s recent success under Marcelo Bielsa.

The England international is tied to the Elland Road outfit until 2024 after putting pen to paper on a five-year deal in September 2019.

Speaking on talkSPORT earlier this month, Trevor Sinclair said he was ‘surprised’ United didn’t make a move for Phillips in the summer.

‘I think Kalvin Phillips is ready to join a top-four club,’ the former England and Manchester City midfielder said.

‘If Leeds do not really pick up this season and start threatening the top four, I think Kalvin Phillips will go.

‘I am actually quite surprised that Manchester United didn’t have a look at him.’

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