Liverpool's record 5-0 win at Man Utd: Solskjaer at 'rock bottom'
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Manchester United and Liverpool have been questioned over their reported transfer pursuit of Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips. Both clubs were believed to be interested in the player during the summer transfer window and speculation has continued to mount ahead of January.
Phillips’ reputation soared following his fantastic performances for England at Euro 2020.
Both United and Liverpool were understood to be interested in signing a defensive midfielder, with Phillips high on their respective lists.
However, United prioritised other positions. They spent over £100million on signing Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho to improve Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s centre-back and wide options.
The Old Trafford outfit then spent another £20m on taking legendary forward Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club 12 years after his then-world record departure to Real Madrid.
That left them without the funds to sign a midfielder, despite flaws being apparent in that area of Solskjaer’s squad this season.
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Liverpool chose not to sign a midfielder either, instead making defender Ibrahima Konate their only signing of the summer.
The Lilywhites reportedly want the 25-year-old to sign a new contract in an attempt to fend off transfer interest.
But that has not stopped speculation, with United and Liverpool believed to be still interested in the player.
Ex-Three Lions star Paul Merson believes Phillips should join the Reds if he has a choice, but has asked why they would sign a player who would not be a ‘gamechanger’.
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“Kalvin Phillips should join Liverpool, not Manchester United,” Merson wrote in his column for the Daily Star.
“But I don’t think he takes either of those teams to another level. He’s a good player who would play every week whichever one he signs for. But not a gamechanger.
“If he goes to Anfield he will still be remembered as a Leeds United hero. But if he goes to Old Trafford that all goes out the window.
“And a Leeds United player going to Manchester United? Wow. Better start well! That’s pressure.
“It all depends who the manager is by then as well. United are miles behind Liverpool. Unless they change the manager, he’s not winning trophies there.”
Explaining why Phillips should opt for Liverpool over United, Merson added: “With Phillips I think he’d suit Liverpool more than United. And if they are paying big money for him I don’t see Jordan Henderson playing every week.
“I’m not saying that would be the end of Henderson. He’s a good pro. Never lets you down. But he’s not getting any younger.
“I think Phillips could learn from having him around. I think Phillips would become a much better player at Liverpool.”
United face Tottenham on Saturday with boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer clinging onto his job following last weekend’s 5-0 thrashing by the Reds. Liverpool’s big win over United offers them plenty of momentum as they host Brighton.
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