Leeds United have tied Kalvin Phillips down to a new, five-year contract, but the West Yorkshire outfit could lose the influential midfielder next summer due to a release clause penned in his new deal, according to Football Insider.
The Whites announced on Monday that Phillips had put pen to paper on a new contract at Elland Road, having rejected multiple offers in the summer of bids in excess of £20million.
Phillips has only represented Leeds United since making his debut for the West Yorkshire outfit in 2015, and has now amassed 149 senior appearances for his boyhood side across all competitions (TransferMarkt).
The midfield anchor proved to be a key aspect of Marcelo Bielsa’s tactics last season, too, with the 23-year-old holding down the role in 46 games, including all bar four Championship encounters, two of which were enforced by a red card.
His efforts for the Whites last term led to wide-ranging interest from Premier League sides, with AFC Bournemouth (Football Insider), Southampton (The Sun via the Daily Echo), Sheffield United (The Athletic), Wolverhampton Wanderers and most notably Aston Villa credited at various points.
Dean Smith’s Villans were said to have refused to stretch beyond their £15million rejected offer, though, which Leeds rebuffed as they placed a £30m asking price on the 5 ft 8 midfielder.
According to Football Insider, multiple Leeds sources have now confirmed that a clause in Phillips new contract could see the 23-year-old leave next summer, though, as there is a release clause in his terms that hinges on the Elland Road natives securing promotion into the top-flight this season.
Should Bielsa’s men fall short in their quest for Premier League football, Phillips is said to be available for a marginally increased fee to the offers rejected, with suggestions the buy-out clause stands between £20m and £25million.
The release clause in Phillips’ new contract is said to have come as a result of pressure from the midfielder’s camp, who were insistent on the matter after the 23-year-old rejected various offers earlier in the year.
It is not uncommon for players to have buy-out options in their terms dependent on certain criteria, but Leeds agreeing to a fee similar to the offers rejected this summer may come back to hurt them should Phillips enjoy another stellar campaign at Elland Road that likewise falls short in securing promotion.
His stock will undoubtedly continue to grow in the coming year if he is able to replicate the form that saw Phillips end the 2018/19 term as the Championship’s eight-most productive tackler (111 successful tackles) and record the eight-most accurate short passes (1845), according to data collected by WhoScored.
Top-flight interest is already being muted, as well, as Wolves are claimed to be plotting regular assessments of the midfielder (Football Insider) with an eye to making a move next summer if Leeds are still in the second-tier.
Leeds fans, does a £20m to £25million release clause represent Phillips’ value to your club? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Leeds United notifications!