Leeds are planning for Kalvin Phillips’ likely switch to Manchester City by moving for RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams.
USA international Adams is a holding midfielder and would help plug the gap should Phillips leave his beloved Elland Road for City. Leeds have already signed Marc Roca from Bayern Munich and attacking midfielder Brenden Aaronson from Red Bull Salzburg and targeting Adams is a clear sign that they fear losing Phillips.
Leeds are braced for a bid from the champions for their England midfielder and know it would be hard for him to turn down a move to the Etihad if the Blues meet their asking price. The Whites value Phillips, who has two years left on his Elland Road deal, at £60million.
They feel Adams could be a useful replacement and the 23-year-old has worked with Leeds head coach Jesse Marsch at his first club New York Red Bulls and Leipzig. Phillips, 26, is in the process of switching agent this summer and City are expected to make a formal approach to Leeds once his new team are in place. The Blues want a defensive midfielder to replace Fernandinho and feel Phillips is ideal because of his age, ability, experience, personality and the fact he is English.
Manchester United showed interest in Phillips, but moving to Old Trafford was never an option for the diehard Leeds fan. Phillips has repeatedly stated his love for his hometown club and has always said he wants to stay. He turned down a move to Aston Villa in 2019 to sign a new deal with Leeds, but City are several steps up from the Midlands club and a switch to the Etihad would be a terrific career move in a World Cup year.
Leeds understand all this and while they would be loathe to lose him, they understand City represent a great opportunity for him. They would reinvest his transfer fee in new players and Adams is an example of that. Leipzig would be open to selling him three-and-a-half years after he joined from New York Red Bulls. Meanwhile, reserve goalkeeper Elia Caprile is set to leave Leeds without making a senior appearance and he is poised to join Serie B side Bari in a permanent deal.
Caprile, 20, joined Leeds from Chievo in January 2020 and spent last season on loan at Serie C side Pro Patria. Director of football Victor Orta wants to overhaul Leeds’ goalkeeping department to bring in more experience and wants a more-seasoned stopper to complement Illan Meslier and Kristoffer Klaesson. Kiko Casilla, 35, is also expected to leave Leeds permanently after spending last season spent on loan at Elche.
The former Real Madrid goalkeeper is too high an earner to be left sat in the stands and he has a year left on his Leeds deal. Right-back Cody Drameh may look to go out on loan again following the signing of Denmark international Rasmus Kristensen. Drameh’s hopes of a run at right-back have been dented by Kristensen’s arrival and he may look to leave again. He had a successful spell on loan at Cardiff City last season and could join another Championship side..