By Nick Ware

12th Oct, 2021 | 6:30pm

Journalist suggests Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips may be Declan Rice alternative for Chelsea

Mike McGrath suggests that Chelsea and Manchester United may turn their attention from Declan Rice to Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips.

The Telegraph journalist, speaking via Fabrizio Romano’s official Twitch channel [12/10/21] on Tuesday afternoon, believes it will be difficult for the Champions League duo to prise Rice from West Ham, and thus Phillips may be a more attainable target with the 25-year-old yet to put pen to paper on a new contract.

“I think it’s difficult,” McGrath said.

“You look at his England partner, Kalvin Phillips, [he’s] not signed his new deal yet and think maybe, well, that’s not signed, that may be an easier one to try and target.

“They’ve both had excellent summers and seasons so you can see why clubs might be looking at them.”

Only a matter of time

Phillips is reportedly close to agreeing on a new Leeds contract.

The Telegraph’s John Percy reported last month that he is in advanced talks over new terms while The Athletic’s Phil Hay, speaking on The Phil Hay Show [30/09], said it is “highly likely” that it will be sorted before Christmas.

Therefore, Phillips’ situation is not quite as precarious as Rice’s at West Ham.

Indeed, Rice is four years younger, and that will make him a more attractive proposition in the minds of elite-level clubs.

That’s before the stance of Leeds or Phillips are even taken into account, and it’s difficult to see either party pushing hard to see him leave in the near future.

He may have Champions League ambitions, but his Elland Road chapter doesn’t look like it’s at its end yet.

In other Leeds United news, George Galloway has slammed this Whites player in a thinly-veiled Elland Road dig.