Former Aston Villa striker Darren Bent has said Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips would be a “perfect signing” and urged Villa to do everything they can to bring in the 23-year-old.
The Leeds academy graduate is thought to have rejected the Whites’ first offer in contract extension talks and Bent has encouraged his former club to take advantage of the possible opportunity.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “I’d love to see him at Villa.
“The perfect, ideal replacement for Glenn Whelan. He gets around the pitch, good on the ball, takes free kicks and honestly I couldn’t speak highly enough of him.
“I watched him a lot last season and did quite a lot of games and every game he impressed me. I thought in the playoffs, in the second leg against Derby, he was probably the best player on the pitch.
“He set up the first goal, put tackles in, and I saw at times even when he played centre-half he didn’t look out of place as well, he was brilliant so for me, perfect signing. He’s going to cost them a fair bit though.
“Are Leeds going to go and sell Jack Clarke and Kalvin Phillips, their two best youngsters? I’m not quite sure, but if I was Aston Villa I’d be doing everything I could to try and get him.”
Losing Phillips would be a massive blow for Leeds and for Marcelo Bielsa.
He looked excellent in the Argentine coach’s debut season and there is no one else in the Leeds squad capable of playing the defensive midfield role to such a high level.
Dean Smith made his seventh signing of the summer today, bringing in Brentford defender Ezri Konsa for £12 million, and Leeds fans will be hoping Villa could now be running low on funds for their summer transfers.
With both Jack Clarke and Pontus Jansson having been sold by the Whites this summer, the club may be in a financial position which allows them to reject any further bids from Villa.