Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips has underlined his commitment to the club and has stressed his wish to continue playing for his hometown club.
The homegrown star is one of Leeds’ most sought-after players. Having come through the ranks at Elland Road, the 26-year-old has established himself as a regular for club and country. Indeed, having been named England’s Player of the Year, Phillips is, understandably, a man in demand.
And given his contract at Leeds is due to expire in 2023, it’s little surprise to see his name taking up plenty of column inches of late.
West Ham were the first side to make their move, seeing a £50m January approach failing. The England man is also high on Newcastle and Aston Villa’s radars. Both sides are looking to add his passing range and tenacity for a tackle to their midfield.
However, Manchester United have also been strongly linked, though a report has outlined three reasons why that move cannot happen.
Either way, Leeds are seemingly playing a risky game over Phillips’ future. Talks over an extension are on hold until Leeds’ Premier League fate is known. With four matches left, United are firmly in the survival scrap alongside Everton and Burnley.
Whatever the future lies, Phillips has underlined his desire to stay at Leeds.
“I’ve made my intentions clear that I want to be at Leeds and I’ll focus on that until my contract ends,” Phillips told BBC West Yorkshire Sport.
“It’s always been something that I’m not really worried about. It’s always been something I’ve been confident in. There’s always going to be noise when you’re an England international and you’re playing for one of the biggest teams in the country.
“Until the end of the season, I’ll be happy at Leeds and I always will be.”
Kalvin Phillips focused on Leeds survival
Phillips’ immediate and sole priority right now is ensuring Leeds get the results needed to survive in the Premier League.
After 16 years in the wilderness, it would be a bitter pill to swallow if the club went down after just two seasons back.
However, they are in decent form with Leeds suffering just one defeat – last time out to Man City in their last six games.
Addressing the changes new boss Jesse Marsch has made, Phillips added: “He’s giving us the confidence to play and get the results we need.
“There’s been lots to take in, since I’ve got back [from injury]. But he’s been good and had a very positive impact on the group.
“It’s a tough part of the season now. If we don’t get the results we need there’s a possibility we could get relegated.
“That’s not in my mind though. I’m just taking it a game at a time and trying to play the way I’ve always played. I want to be aggressive and help the team as much as possible. That’s what I’ll do until the last game of the season.”
Leeds need star at his best
United will need Kalvin Phillips back to his best as soon as possible if Leeds are to get the results they need to survive. He has looked slightly uncomfortable in the double midfield pivot Marsch has asked him to play in so far.
However, he will need to find his range quickly ahead of a huge week.
Leeds face Arsenal away on Sunday, before crucial home games with Chelsea and Brighton on Wednesday and Sunday week.
Kalvin Phillips is happy to extend Leeds contract
Provided that Leeds stay up, Kalvin Phillips is reportedly happy to extend his contract at Leeds United.
Their season concludes with a trip to face Brentford on May 22.
Quite how many points will be needed to survive remains uncertain. As it stands, Leeds are currently on on 34 points, with many suggesting it may need at least 40. As such, Leeds will hope their big players stand up and make it count when they need them most.