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Athletic suggests West Ham could have edge over Man United for £60m star this summer

The Athletic suggests West Ham could have edge over Man United for a £60m star David Moyes tried to sign in January.

West Ham and Manchester United are competing for league position on the pitch this season.

And it seems the Hammers and Red Devils will be competing against one another off it this summer too.

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That’s as both West Ham boss David Moyes and incoming new Man United manager Erik Ten Hag continue to be credited with a firm interest in Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips.

As reported by the likes of The Evening Standard in January, West Ham allegedly offered Leeds £50m for midfield star Phillips.

West Ham also reportedly saw a £50m bid rejected for Phillips’s Leeds teammate Raphinha.

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Phillips is believed to be valued at around £60m by Leeds. But much will depend on the club’s status come the summer.

Just yesterday West Ham insiders told Claret and Hugh that Moyes’s chances of signing both Phillips and/or Raphinha will hinge heavily on whether Leeds are playing Premier League or Championship football next season.

Phillips is very much still on West Ham’s radar for a summer move according to insiders speaking to Claret and Hugh.

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Now The Athletic has suggested West Ham could have the edge over Man United for the £60m star this summer.

In an update on the Phillips situation, The Athletic’s Leeds experts Laurie Whitwell and Phil Hay revealed that Declan Rice’s England midfield partner is in the process of changing agents.

And the report suggests a move to Man United for boyhood Leeds fan Phillips – who comes from a family of hardcore Peacocks fans – is unlikely given the fierce rivalry between the two clubs.

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That would clear a path for West Ham to at least have a run at signing the player. The report confirms West Ham’s interest in Phillips was dismissed ‘out of hand’ by Leeds in January.

But The Athletic’s states that European football could also be a big sway for the £60m midfielder as West Ham chase Champions League qualification via the Europa League.

“Incoming new (Man United) manager Erik ten Hag will have a major influence over any signings but it is expected there would be support for an approach (for Phillips) from interim boss Ralf Rangnick…” Whitwell and Hay report for The Athletic.

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“There is, however, one Elland Road-sized elephant in the room: Phillips and those close to him grew up as massive Leeds fans, well aware of the fierce rivalry with the club down the M62 motorway.

“If push comes to shove, would Phillips really make that move?

“In the background, Phillips is understood to be strongly considering changing the agency which represents him… Phillips’ contract with Palm Sports Management is set to expire this summer, however, and The Athletic has been told that Stellar Group, one of football’s biggest agencies, is a leading contender to take him on. The subject is described as being still up in the air…

“In January, enquiries for Phillips were made by Villa and West Ham United via conversations at executive level. Leeds rejected those approaches out of hand and insisted that no official bids were tabled…

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“When faced with a similar proposition 18 years ago, (ex Leeds striker Alan) Smith decided the sporting and financial aspects overrode loyalty to Leeds (when he moved to Man United).

“Phillips may be tested in the same way — albeit with a different outcome.”

Even if West Ham do have a clear edge over Man United for Phillips come the summer, Moyes will still undoubtedly face stiff competition from elsewhere.

Recreating the Rice-Phillips England axis at West Ham would be amazing. But many cynics believe it is a pre-emptive move by the Hammers to get Phillips in as Rice’s in situ replacement.

The summer transfer window opens on June 10th.

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