Liverpool have ‘seduced’ Kalvin Phillips but Real Madrid’s ‘great obsession’ with the Leeds midfielder could prove to be quite the obstacle.
HEND OF THE LINE
Poor Dean Henderson might feel ever so slightly done over. The 24-year-old has made just two senior appearances for Manchester United this season, losing 1-0 to West Ham in the League Cup and drawing 1-1 with Young Boys. He was sold a slightly different vision in the summer.
David de Gea reestablished his goalkeeping supremacy under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick has retained the Spaniard between the sticks. The German threw the most brittle of bones to Henderson this week but things must still be frayed after a transfer request was rejected.
Henderson is likely still considering his future and so the suggestion of interest from Southampton might turn his head. Football Insider report that Saints ‘have made an enquiry’ over a permanent deal as they see the keeper as a guaranteed starter with ‘the potential to develop as well as re-sale value’.
Southampton do currently have three senior goalkeepers but the emphasis is very much on the word ‘senior’. Alex McCarthy is 32, Fraser Forster is 33 and Willy Caballero is 40. So while Manchester United want to keep him, Henderson is ‘pushing for a move and that could lead to a U-turn’.
There is a lack of January activity at Liverpool but El Nacional reckon that might be about to change. Jurgen Klopp wants Kalvin Phillips and the Leeds lynchpin is ‘considering a change of heart’. That is pretty non-committal. Either he’s considering it or he’s had a change of heart. Not sure you can do both.
Liverpool like the look of Phillips as he has the right ‘style of play,’ with ‘a great ability to travel,’ as well as the ‘effort, sacrifice and technical quality’ required. An offer of £33.4m will be lodged but ‘all indications are that it will be rejected’ – Leeds do not want to sell to a Premier League rival, despite Phillips being ‘very seduced’ by the bright lights of Anfield.
Leeds would rather farm him out to a foreign team, if indeed his sale is absolutely necessary. Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are mentioned but Real Madrid seem the strongest option. They have ‘long been paying close attention to one of Carlo Ancelotti’s great obsessions’. He could well be the replacement for Casemiro.
Signing Phillips would be quite the consolation prize for missing out on Kylian Mbappe. The Daily Telegraph update us on the Frenchman’s situation, saying Paris Saint-Germain want to get name on ‘a short-term extension’ of a contract that expires in the summer.
Mbappe ‘is not against’ the idea. Indeed, he ‘is coming round’ to staying in Paris despite his destiny seemingly lying at the Bernabeu. PSG are ‘desperate’ to keep him and have been trying to hold negotiations all season.
The forward ‘does want to conclude’ those talks just yet, mind, and any new deal is unlikely to dissuade Real Madrid from making an offer in the summer. But it would prevent PSG from losing one of the best players in the world for nothing.