Real Madrid are reportedly preparing to hijack Liverpool’s attempt to sign Kalvin Phillips from Leeds United.
The England international’s stock has skyrocketed during the time the Whites have been in the Premier League.
It has led to the midfielder becoming a pivotal part of Gareth Southgate’s team during the Euros last summer, partnering Declan Rice as the Three Lions made it to the final.
And his efforts have not gone unnoticed with interest ramping up over his services - despite this season becoming bogged down by injuries.
Jurgen Klopp is a huge fan of the 26-year-old while midfield is an area that he is looking to bolster.
Liverpool have never replaced Georginio Wijnaldum while the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita have had longstanding fitness issues.
However, according to El Nacional, Real Madrid are ready to gazump the Reds and take over their transfer raid.
That would deal a huge blow to Liverpool, who are reported in the same story to have prepared a £33m bid to test Leeds’ resolve.
It is also stated that Phillips would definitely be interested in making the move to the Bernabeu despite it meaning he would have to leave his boyhood club.
Carlo Ancelotti knows the player well having coached Everton last season and saw first-hand the ability the Englishman has.
Real’s midfield remains strong with Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro but one eye is on the future and it is also stated that the Italian coach is “obsessed” with Phillips.
The Yorkshire star has had a difficult season to date, registering one assist in his 12 Premier League appearances before succumbing to injury.
Nevertheless, Phillips’ talent is undeniable while it remains to be seen how Leeds will respond to any bid.
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Manchester United have had an interest in the midfielder recently while Tottenham were keen when the Whites were in the Championship.
Leeds are also under no pressure to sell with him being tied down to a contract that expires in 2024.
Phillips also recently stated that he is happy at Elland Road and is looking to pen new terms that could see him extend his stay even longer.
He said in December: “I just want to focus on getting back fit, but I speak to the owner regularly. I want a new contract. I’m very happy here."
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