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Leeds aiming to keep Phillips with new contract
Thursday, 13th Jun 2019 21:31 by Tim Whelan

The club has begun talks with Kalvin Phillips over an extension to his present deal, but the young midfielder has now gone on holiday with no agreement yet in place, amid reported interest from Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Norwich City, AFC Bournemouth, Southampton and even Brighton and Hove Albion.

Phillips’ current contract expires in the summer of 2021, and Leeds have promised him an improvement on his current wages, and for his part the Leeds born academy product is reported to have told the club he is keen to stay and play a key role in another promotion challenge. But Leeds have yet to make a firm offer, and will need to get the deal done soon. Otherwise we could be forced to part with the 23 year-old this summer, rather than having to accept a cut-price fee in a year’s time as his deal starts to run out.

The Daily Telegraph have reported that Aston Villa’s Dean Smith was the first to put his money where his mouth is, with an offer of £14 million, which Leeds will decline as the amount does not meet our valuation of the defensive midfielder. Villa need a new defensive midfielder after parting with Glenn Whelan and Mile Jedinak, and their scouts are said to have watched Phillips a number of times last season.

Villa have already signed Anwar El Ghazi this summer and want to convert Tyrone Ming’s loan from Bournemouth into a permanent transfer, as well as chasing England goalkeeper Jack Butland. So they are clearly looking to spend a lot of their new-found wealth in order to be competitive on their return to the Premier League, so may well come back with an improved offer for Phillips.

Wolves is another possible destination for Phillips, if only because of our interest in signing winger Helder Costa. Leeds ideally want to take Costa on a season-long loan, conscious that we couldn’t afford a transfer fee because of FFP restrictions. For his part, Costa is keen to come to Leeds in search of first-team football, but Wolves would prefer a permanent deal. So they are likely to float the idea of offering Costa in part exchange for Phillips.

And a clutch of other Premier League suitors have also been mentioned over the past few weeks, including Norwich, Bournemouth, Southampton and Brighton. Galling as it is to see these relatively minor Premier League clubs bidding to take our best young players, that is the way it is going to be until we get promoted, given the vast gap in the TV money received by the clubs in the two divisions.

Leeds are believed to want at least £20 million to part with Phillips, a figure that successfully saw off Tottenham’s interest in Jack Clarke earlier in the transfer window. But with Phillips having a few more years’ experience, there is a higher likelihood of a Premier League club being willing to match that valuation, especially if they start to bid against each other for his services.

We obviously want Leeds to keep hold of our best players in order to challenge for promotion again in the new season, but if Phillips is lost, we can at least be confident that every penny of his transfer fee will be re-invested in the playing squad by Radrizzani and his new investors.

Reuters Media Express

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