Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has admitted he was looking to sign Kalvin Phillips the summer before last.
Speaking ahead of the clash with Leeds on Friday, Smith conceded that Villa had expressed an interest in bringing the now England midfielder to the club.
Phillips is set to miss the game on Friday through injury, something Smith believes is a boost for his own team heading into the fixture.
But the Villa boss did concede that he held an interest in Phillips previously, although he believes talks never really got going.
“He was on a list of players that we were interested in,“ he told the Birmingham Mail
“As far as I was aware it never got past initial talks stage with the price tag they wanted and rightly so if you look at their season last year and what they’re going now.”
Leeds were believed to be demanding massive figures for Phillips at the time and that value will have only increased.
Indeed, it is now claimed that both Liverpool and Tottenham want to sign the Leeds man, with the Mirror reporting just this week that a potential £50m deal could be being lined up.
Villa, then, would appear to be priced of that move. Although, they do have rich owners and, with a bit of luck, may well end up getting a European spot this season.
Imagine what might have happened? – TBR View
For Leeds fans, this doesn’t bare thinking about. Few would deny just how important Phillips has been in their rise and he’ll be a huge loss to the team this weekend.
Villa, on the other hand, would probably have had a smoother time of things last season. But they’ve moved on, and now look a good side under Smith.
Phillips, of course, would have just been another vital cog and could well have formed a nice partnership with Jack Grealish along the way.