Liverpool have ‘seduced’ Calvin Phillips, but Real Madrid’s ‘big obsession’ with the Leeds midfielder could be a huge snag.
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Poor Dean Henderson might feel that way a little. The 24-year-old has played only two games for Manchester United this season, losing 1-0 to West Ham in the League Cup and drawing 1-1 with Young Boys. A slightly different view was sold in the summer.
David de Gea re-established his goalkeeping supremacy under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick kept the Spaniard between the sticks. German threw the most brittle bones to Henderson this week but things still have to be tense after the transfer request was denied.
It’s possible that Henderson is still thinking about his future, so the suggestion of interest from Southampton could wrap his head around. Football Insider reported that Saints “made an inquiry” over a permanent deal because they see the goalkeeper as a guaranteed starter with “development and resale potential”.
There are currently three top goalkeepers at Southampton, but the focus is largely on the word ‘senior’. Alex McCarthy is 32, Fraser Forster is 33, Willie Caballero is 40. So while Manchester United want to keep him, Henderson is “pushing to move and that could turn him in.”
There is a lack of January activity at Liverpool but El Nacional’s account may be about to change. Jurgen Klopp wants Calvin Phillips and Leeds lynchpin is considering a change of heart. This is somewhat non-binding. Either he’s thinking about it or he’s changed his mind. I’m not sure you can do both.
Liverpool admired Phillips’ appearance because he had 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 made but ‘all indications are that it will be rejected’ – Leeds are unwilling to sell to a Premier League rival, although Phillips are ‘deeply fond’ of the bright Anfield lights.
Leeds would prefer to transfer him to a foreign team, if a sale is absolutely necessary. Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are mentioned, but Real Madrid appears to be the strongest option. They have ‘for a long time been paying close attention to one of Carlo Ancelotti’s great obsessions’. It could be a replacement for Casemiro.
Signing Phillips would be a huge consolation prize for the loss of Kylian Mbappe. The Daily Telegraph tells us about the Frenchman’s situation, saying that PSG want to get a name on a “short-term extension” to a contract that expires in the summer.
Mbappe is “not against” the idea. In fact, he is “close” to staying in Paris despite his fate apparently at the Bernabeu. PSG are “desperate” to keep him and are trying to hold negotiations throughout the season.
The striker “wants to wrap up” those talks so far, and any new deal is unlikely to dissuade Real Madrid from making an offer in the summer. But it will prevent Paris Saint-Germain from losing one of the best players in the world for nothing.