Aston Villa were linked with Kalvin Phillips this summer as Steven Gerrard needed a defensive-midfielder, but it appeared they were giving up on their pursuit as Manchester City were leading the race for his signature.

That still remains the case with Phillips being open to a move to the Etihad Stadium, but Football Insider say Villa are battling with West Ham United to hijack the deal.

Man City need a replacement for the outgoing Fernandinho, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense for Pep Guardiola to spend £50m on a player who isn’t guaranteed to start next season.

The Premier League defending champions already have Rodri who has outstanding in 2021/22, so Phillips may struggle for regular playing time. That being said, he would still make the switch if a fee can be agreed.

Whether the England international is as open to joining Villa remains to be seen, however. Gerrard’s men finished 14th in the league and aren’t likely to be in contention of winning trophies next season, so why would he pick them over City?

Phillips was born in Leeds, is a product of their academy and has been on the record saying he’s happy to stay at Elland Road, so he might only leave for one of the big six. Villa aren’t quite there yet, so Gerrard is better off turning his attentions elsewhere.

In other news, Frank McAvennie tells Aston Villa to sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain