Leeds ‘preparing for Kalvin Phillips departure’ and have already lined up replacement

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Leeds are already planning for Kalvin Phillips’ potential departure by targeting RB Leipzig’s American ace Tyler Adams, according to reports. Defensive midfielder Phillips is likely to move to Manchester City before the end of the summer window. 

Adams has previously played under Whites boss Jesse Marsch at New York Red Bulls and Leipzig. Knowing the head coach would help for a seamless transition as Leeds look to replace one of their best players. 

England man Phillips is understood to be a top target of City’s. The Premier League champions are hoping to improve their midfield ranks despite holding midfielder Rodri being one of the league’s star performers last term. Pep Guardiola will lose the long-serving Fernandinho this summer. 

City boss Guardiola has been linked with a £50million move for Phillips, whose return from injury last season coincided with Leeds’ battle against relegation. The 26-year-old was limited to just 20 appearances as Marsch’s side secured their top-flight status on the final day of the campaign. 

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According to Wednesday’s paper edition of the Mirror, Leeds will respond to Phillips’ exit by targeting Leipzig midfielder Adams. The USA international played 24 times in the Bundesliga last season, helping his side finish fourth. 

Adams started his career at New York Red Bulls before joining Leipzig in 2019. He was later joined at the club by Marsch, who replaced Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds earlier this year. 

The 23-year-old’s potential arrival is evidence that Leeds are planning for life after Phillips, who has spent his entire career at Elland Road. City are widely expected to complete a deal before the window slams shut on September 1. 

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Leeds have been busy in the transfer market and are keen to give Marsch a squad capable of climbing up the table after a disappointing second season in the top-flight. The Yorkshire outfit have already signed midfielders Marc Roca from Bayern Munich and Brenden Aaronson from RB Salzburg. 

Adams could mark Leeds’ third summer arrival. However, they also face a battle to keep their best players. 

Winger Raphinha has been linked with an exit alongside Phillips. Arsenal, Manchester United and Barcelona are all reportedly interested in the Brazilian, whose 11 league goals was a major reason for their survival last season. 

Express Sport understands that the Gunners are yet to make strides in their pursuit of Raphinha as they feel Leeds are trying to spark a bidding war to drive up the 25-year-old’s price tag. Leeds are believed to want around £50m for the star, who they signed from Rennes for around £25m two years ago. 

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