Leeds United

Leeds United: Ornstein makes worrying Kalvin Phillips claim

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The Athletic journalist David Ornstein has revealed that Leeds United are resigned to losing Kalvin Phillips and a deal is expected to be done.  

Ornstein was speaking on The Athletic Football Podcast amid strong interest from Manchester City, with a bid seemingly imminent for the English midfielder.

The Premier League champions believe a fee between £45-50m will be enough to finalise a deal, and as recently reported by The Athletic, there is confidence on the buyer’s side that Phillips would push for a move.

The 26-year-old currently earns £38k per week at Elland Road, with his contract not running out until 2024, meaning Leeds would hold a few bargaining chips if they were to look for a higher price, though it is thought that “City have the funds to acquire Phillips regardless”.

The 23-cap England international is apparently in the midst of switching agents, with The Athletic (via MOT Leeds News) reporting back in April that he is linking up with similar representatives to that of Jack Grealish – who, of course, secured a record-breaking £100m move to the Etihad Stadium last summer.

Are you now expecting Phillips to leave?

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Ornstein has now claimed that once the change has been finalised, the transfer will occur. 

He said: “I think there’s an understanding that once his change of representation is complete – because he’s coming towards the end of his agency contract with his existing intermediary – I think Manchester City were waiting for clarity around that; Leeds, too. 

“They have to come to an agreement on price, but I think there is an intention from Manchester City to get this wrapped up, and Leeds will be expecting Kalvin Phillips to go, I think, and looking for ways in which they can replace him.”

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After 234 appearances and a memorable promotion with his boyhood club, it is unlikely that any Whites supporters will begrudge one of their own a big move elsewhere, but the officials at Thorp Arch will need to find his replacement.

It looks as if they are working their way towards meeting that criteria, with the Yorkshire club closing in on a deal for Bayern Munich enforcer Marc Roca, but as journalist Beren Cross has pointed out, that could just be a matter of Jesse Marsch filling out his squad – meaning that a direct replacement for Phillips is yet to be identified.

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