By Craig Scott

20th Apr, 2022 | 7:03am

Steven Gerrard to ask Aston Villa chief to pursue Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips 'vigorously'

Steven Gerrard will ask Aston Villa’s sporting director Jonathan Lange to “vigorously” pursue Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, according to The Mirror.

The newspaper reported via their print edition today [19 April, page 52] that Gerrard wants to strengthen his midfield options at Villa Park and has made Leeds’ Phillips, 26, and Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma his top targets.

It is understood that billionaire-owned Villa face competition to sign £60million-rated Phillips as Manchester United, Newcastle United and West Ham are also keen.

Aggressive Aston Villa

It was reported last summer by Marca that no club in Europe had a bigger net spend on transfers than Aston Villa.

Since returning to the Premier League, their billionaire owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris have thrown millions upon millions at making signings.

In fact, Villa have spent over £580million on players since 2012 [Birmingham Mail].

What have they been able to show for that in the last 10 years?

Relegation to the Championship and, currently, a spot in 15th in the Premier League – one place and three points above Leeds.

It’s no wonder they’re desperate.

Gerrard was made their manager in November and although he added Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne, among others, in January, it seems like the Villa boss isn’t intent on stopping there.

Phillips will cost them a lot – but why would the midfielder ditch his boyhood club to essentially move one place up the Premier League table?

Sure, Villa could pay him more. But Leeds could pay him more too if he sticks around and his new agent gets him a good pay rise.

We don’t see cash-burning Villa as a threat, in all honesty.

In other Leeds United news, this young prospect wants to quit Elland Road.