Any Manchester United efforts to prise Kalvin Phillips away from Leeds United next summer look destined to end in failure, if comments made by the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ are anything to go by.
Phillips is one of the lowest-paid players in the England squad with his wages dwarved by many Three Lions stars. As such, Leeds know they’ll 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.
And as per our exclusive, Leeds are ready to open talks to extend Phillips’ deal and reward him for his progress.
That need appears to have become more urgent amid claims that Manchester United are preparing to shift their focus to Phillips.
The Red Devils have long been on the trail of Phillips’ close mate and England colleague Declan Rice. However, West Ham’s refusal to lower their £100m asking price appears to have put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side off.
As such, they are now reported to have shifted their focus to Phillips in the belief he will cost much less. That said, any deal would still likely set them back at least £60m.
However, as a staunch Leeds supporter himself, Phillips has been brought up to dislike all things Manchester United.
Speaking to GQ ahead of the 2020-21 season when Leeds returned to the Premier League, the 25-year-old admitted: “I want to be a player that’s got a lot of games to his name, but I want them to be games that mean something.
“And I want to play in the Europa League, the Champions League. But I want to do that, ideally with Leeds.
“With Leeds, and the way that we’re heading, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t.”
Furthermore, before Leeds’ clash with their roses rivals in April, Phillips revealed his family “hated” the Red Devils.
In addition to that, Phillips was asked ahead of their season opener what Manchester United mean to him. Phillips replied with a curt: “Nothing.”
Rice also against Man Utd transfer
The 22-year-old has established himself as one of his country’s brightest talents for the future. He has already made 152 top-flight appearances and has become a crucial Three Lions star.
However, he insists he’s not agitating for a move amid talk the Red Devils want to lure him to Lancashire.
“We’ve spoken about it lots in the past,” Rice told reporters (via Football London). “Everyone knows how I feel about West Ham and how I feel about playing under the manager and what it’s like playing with the group of players I’m playing with.
“I feel you can see in my performances nothing’s up, nothing’s concerning me. I’m playing with a smile on my face, I’m going out there, I’m leading the team.”