By Graham Hill
VILLA’S hopes of signing Kalvin Phillips were effectively dealt a blow when Leeds played him in their win at Bristol City on Sunday.
Marcelo Bielsa said before the game that if the midfielder was involved at Ashton Gate then he would very likely be staying at Elland Road.
But how do Villa view this move now? Dean Smith is a clear admirer of the promising 23-year-old.
True. He has brought Douglas Luiz and Marvelous Nakamba into an already well-stocked Villa midfield.
We have yet to see Luiz though. His signing was confirmed but there still seem to be work permit issues to be rubber stamped.
And not everyone in West Yorkshire is convinced that Academy product Phillips will still be a Leeds player next Friday.
Former Leeds striker-turned-pundit Noel Whelan says that big spending Villa might just have a final bid on the cards,
And if it comes close to Leeds’ £30million valuation, then maybe a move could still happen.
Tellingly, Bielsa said on Friday that he cannot affect any transfer deal involving Phillips.
Whelan told BBC Radio Leeds: “I don’t think you can promise anything in this game, especially now that you have got a good young player that other clubs in the Premier League have been looking at, wanting to buy, putting in offers.
“If an offer came around that was too good to say no to, he would be on his way out, no shadow of a doubt about that. Players with Kalvin’s talent are difficult to find, and I don’t want to lose him.”