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The Dutchman will want to try and rebuild following a poor 2021/22 campaign and according to The Manchester Evening News, United will prioritise bringing in a defensive midfielder after deciding against buying one last summer.
A spot in Europe's elite competition could be the clinching factor in a deal to bring Rice or Bellingham to Old Trafford – not to mention their high transfer value – but it appears Leeds midfielder Phillips is a realistic target.
In fact, United are confident of beating the likes of West Ham and Aston Villa to the signing of the England international.
Ralf Rangnick has a preference for targeting 'hungry players seeking a progressive career move', and Phillips matches that description.
The 26-year-old midfielder, who has played for Leeds since the age of 14, is contracted with his boyhood club until 2024, but discussions over a renewal have become 'protracted', add The Manchester Evening News.
Ten Hag, meanwhile, would have an important say in regards to transfers but the club are understood to be advancing on an intended deal to sign the player.
Last summer, after a string of impressive performances for England at the European Championship, Dimitar Berbatov said he like to see the midfielder play for his former club.
He told Betfair per the Mirror: "Kalvin Phillips stood out again too [in the 2-1 semi-final win over Denmark]. He's been one of the players of the tournament and, sooner or later, I expect him to leave Leeds for a bigger club.
"Offers will come in for him after the tournament. He is playing with maturity, agility, knowing when to run with the ball and when to pass.
"I would like to see him sign for Manchester United."
Former Leeds defender Danny Mills believes Phillips would have no problems breaking into United's team.
"Alan Smith went and I think the fans understood it but didn't particularly like it and some will never forgive him for that," Mills told Football Insider last year.
"I understand that because there will always be a bitter rivalry between the two. Would he fit in Manchester United's team? Would he play? Without a shadow of a doubt, yes. Would he improve them? Yes.
"Whether you like it or not as a Leeds fan, Manchester United are a global entity, you can't argue with that."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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