Liverpool v Real Madrid: Champions League final pictures
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Liverpool are reportedly negotiating for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips as Jurgen Klopp seeks to bolster his midfield ranks ahead of the new campaign. Barcelona wonderkid Gavi was originally being eyed up, but with a new contract at the Camp Nou imminent, the Reds will be forced to chase other transfer opportunities.
Phillips was one match away from a near-certain Leeds exit back in May. However, the Whites pulled a crucial 2-1 victory over Brentford out of the bag on the final day of the Premier League season to ensure their top-flight survival.
That has at least given Phillips the opportunity to think about staying at his boyhood club, which may not have been possible if they had been relegated to the Championship. It also means that the Whites can demand a heftier transfer fee if Liverpool do come calling.
SPORT claim that the Reds are plotting to do just that as ‘negotiations’ on the player gather pace. The England international may yet be tempted by the prospect of challenging further up the table and competing in Europe.
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Manchester City are also poised to fight them with Pep Guardiola keen to replace outgoing midfielder Fernandinho over the coming weeks. Prising Phillips away from Yorkshire is set to be a tricky task, but it was reported that the 26-year-old would prefer a move to City over Manchester United, who were also interested.
Last campaign, injuries limited Phillips to just 20 Premier League appearances as Leeds battled through a relegation scrap with many of their key men missing. His stock is still sky-high, however, having taken the demands of the top-flight in his stride and become a key member of Gareth Southgate’s England set-up.
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There could yet be more twists and turns regarding Liverpool’s Phillips interest, but one race that appears to have been run is the Reds’ pursuit of Gavi. The 17-year-old midfielder made a staggering 47 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions last term and has already become a regular for the Spanish national side.
As such, it is no surprise that the Barca superstar is already hailed as one of the best young talents in world football, and the Catalan club’s financial uncertainty, combined with Gavi’s £42.8million release clause, offered hope to interested parties. But negotiations between Barcelona and the youngster are believed to be progressing well enough for Liverpool to effectively give up.
Indeed, Gavi is expected to put pen to paper on a new deal in Spain that will see his release clause skyrocket to over £800m. While such astronomical figures are common in La Liga, it effectively leaves him out of reach and with the opportunity to start building a legacy for Barca.
The Spaniard could have been an ideal candidate to inject youth into Klopp’s midfield contingent, several of which are approaching the twilight of their careers. James Milner is among them, but the 36-year-old recently signed a one-year contract extension to stick with the Reds until the end of next season.
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