Kalvin Phillips to Manchester United would be 'worse than Alan Smith' says Leeds fan

Kalvin Phillips has emerged as a transfer target for Manchester United, with The MEN reporting the Red Devils are actively pursuing a move.

A deal would be highly controversial, at least from the Leeds end, with the Yorkshire club hoping that selling their stars to Manchester United is a thing of the past.

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Phillips is Leeds born and bred, and while this did not stop Alan Smith, the Whites appear to be clear of relegation and they are not in the financial mire as they were back then.

This rumour may just be a case of United sounding Phillips out publicly, to see if he can be swayed. There’s no doubt the England international would be a fine addition if the deal could somehow be struck.

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Kalvin Phillips has emerged as a transfer target for Manchester United, with The MEN reporting the Red Devils are actively pursuing a move.

A deal would be highly controversial, at least from the Leeds end, with the Yorkshire club hoping that selling their stars to Manchester United is a thing of the past.

Phillips is Leeds born and bred, and while this did not stop Alan Smith, the Whites appear to be clear of relegation and they are not in the financial mire as they were back then.

This rumour may just be a case of Manchester United sounding Phillips out publicly, to see if he can be swayed. There’s no doubt the England international would be a fine addition if the deal could somehow be struck.

Manchester United have signed the likes of Eric Cantona, Rio Ferdinand and Alan Smith in the past. The trio were successes at Old Trafford, although only the latter was a homegrown player like Phillips.

Smith spoke to FourFourTwo magazine in 2015 and admitted he went back on a vow in the process.

He explained: “I did say I’d never play for Manchester United. If I’d been a Leeds fan, I would have booed me as well.

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He was ultimately sold for financial reasons and told the club podcast in 2020: “I would have been doing myself a disservice if I took the easy option and didn’t sign for — arguably at that time — the biggest club in the world.”

Phillips, 26, is at a crossroads in his career, and while he may prefer a less controversial option, he may at least pause to consider the challenge Manchester United may present to him.

Leeds’ current situation is slightly different of course, stable financially, and also expected to cash in on Brazilian winger Raphinha. We also have to be realistic too that this isn’t the all-conquering Fergie era, far from it.

The Leeds view

There is a strong chance Leeds’ owners are guided by their fanbase, and that spells trouble for Manchester United’s prospects of landing Phillips.

Phillips has also been linked with Aston Villa, with The Mail suggesting they are ready to pay £60 million and test Leeds’ resolve.

Yet there is little doubt where Leeds are concerned, that the prospect of Phillips playing in Manchester United red would be far worse.

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We spoke to Leeds United News‘ Will Butcher, who was adamant Manchester United would be the worst case scenario, and harder to take than Alan Smith’s exit.

He said: “Manchester United without a doubt. Yes, there has been rivalry with Villa of late after the Championship years and Mateusz Klich scoring after Tyler Roberts played on. But United are our biggest rivals, and if he joins them it would be even worse than Alan Smith’s move to Old Trafford.

“There is a small degree of sympathy regarding Smith’s move, given Leeds had to bring in cash during the financial collapse of 2004 under Peter Ridsdale. But if Phillips joined United, there would be no excuse. He would simply be putting aside any Leeds allegiances, any love he has received from Leeds fans, by signing on the dotted line.”

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