Leeds United are prepared to make Kalvin Phillips the highest paid player at the club in order to keep him out of the reach of a number of Premier League clubs, TEAMtalk understands.
Phillips is one of the lowest-paid players in the England squad with his wages dwarved by many Three Lions stars. As such, Leeds are aware that they will soon need to reward him with an improved contract to keep him at Elland Road.
The 25-year-old signed his current deal in 2019. That five-year deal runs to 2024 – but was signed before he played for his country and even before Leeds’ promotion.
That deal did contain provisions that saw him earn an increase upon promotion. However, we understand Leeds still want talks over an extension.
Leeds’ current top earners are attackers Rodrigo Moreno, Raphinha and Patrick Bamford. The latter recently put pen-to-paper for the Whites on a new deal worth an estimated £70,000-a-week.
Phillips himself has not yet asked for new terms. However, we understand both he and Leeds are both aware of the clubs showing an interest in him.
All of the Premier League’s big hitters would snap up Phillips if the chance arose. Indeed, reports earlier this week revealed Pep Guardiola had made an express wish to his Manchester City bosses to sign the England man.
Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham are also keeping tabs on Phillips’ situation too.
It is also understood a number of European sides are also looking at Phillips, who was one of England’s star performers at Euro 2020.
Phillips agent reassures Leeds
Some pundits have warned Leeds may need to push for the European places in order to keep Phillips for the long term.
However, his agent Kevin Sharp insists the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ has no plans on leaving his beloved Leeds.
Speaking in July, Sharp told i: “Before Kalvin signed his last contract, we had good interest so we sat down and explored all the pros and cons.
“His desire was never to leave. It was to be rewarded and stay and play for the team he supported as a kid.
“Within the contract he signed in September 2019, we included provisions within it for if Leeds reached the Premier League. So it’s all set up for the top flight.
“We knew it was a bit of a gamble, but we knew Leeds would get there under [Marcelo] Bielsa and obviously they did.
“There may be clubs who are actually looking at Kalvin now because the more successful you are. Playing for England in big tournaments naturally breeds interest.
“But Kalvin is happy at Leeds and has no desire to move whatsoever. It’s more a case of ‘carry on what you’re doing for club and country’.”