Aston Villa and Newcastle United are reportedly leading the race to sign Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips, who is also a target for Manchester United.

According to Football Insider, Aston Villa and Newcastle United have emerged as the front-runners in the pursuit of Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who is also being chased by Manchester United.

A Leeds United academy product, Phillips has grown into a vital member of the first team at Elland Road and has established himself as one of the most reliable central midfielders in the Premier League over the past couple of years. Now a mainstay in the England national team as well, the 26-year-old is attracting serious transfer interest heading into the summer window.

Manchester United have been on Phillips’ trails for quite some time now. The Red Devils need a top-quality midfielder as they prepare for the departure of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic. They have been linked with the likes of Declan Rice and Ruben Neves as well, but the former will not be sold by West Ham United while the latter is closing in on a move to Barcelona.

So, Phillips would have been a viable option for Manchester United. However, as per the report, the Red Devils have fallen behind Aston Villa and Newcastle United in the race to sign the Leeds United and England international heading into the summer transfer window.

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Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard is eyeing reinforcements in the defensive midfield area as Douglas Luiz is entering the final year of his contract and could be on his way out in the summer. In addition to that, Marvelous Nakamba has had injury issues in the past, making the signing of a new midfielder a top priority for the Midlands club.

While there have been links to Olympique Marseille’s Boubacar Kamara, who will be a free agent in the summer, Phillips has emerged as the top target for Aston Villa, and they are now laying down the groundwork for a deal before next season. 

The same holds for Newcastle United, too, who are also hoping to add another top-quality midfielder to their roster. Bruno Guimaraes and Jonjo Shelvey are permanent fixtures in the centre of the park. And adding another top player like Phillips would elevate Eddie Howe’s side to the next level, especially with the futures of Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden uncertain.

Phillips has had an injury-riddled 2021/22 campaign, but it is clear that his stock remains high as ever. And, as things stand, Aston Villa and Newcastle United have emerged as the front-runners to sign the 26-year-old, with his Leeds United future uncertain due to their relegation battle.

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