This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
In an interview with Leeds Live in Australia, Leeds United director of football believes that Kalvin Phillips will still be lining up in a white shirt next season even though there are no negotiations ongoing at the current time, which suggests owner Andrea Radrizzani is ready to throw caution to the wind in 2019/20.
Well, the midfielder was one of the stars of the Yorkshire outfit’s debut campaign under the leadership of Marcelo Bielsa, shining in a defensive midfield role while also showing his versatility by filling in at centre-back on occasion, too.
However, Leeds’ failure to secure a return to the Premier League despite spending the majority of season in the automatic promotion spots meant that speculation over his future was likely to follow during the summer transfer window – and that it did.
Speaking Down Under, via Leeds Live, Orta reassured supporters about his future: “There is no negotiations. The player is a Leeds United player and will be a Leeds United player in the 2019/20 season.”
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Asked if he was confident he would stay, the Spaniard added: “100 per cent confident. I am confident. Leeds United want Kalvin Phillips next year, 100 per cent.”
Football Insider reported last month that United were in discussions with Phillips over a new deal and that he rejected their opening offer, but Orta’s latest comments suggest that isn’t the case.
However, the Spaniard is confident that he will still be at Elland Road when the window slams shut on August 8, which signals that Radrizzani is ready to back Bielsa and risk it all to get Leeds up in 2019/20.
They have already agreed a loan deal for Wolves attacker Helder Costa that will see him join on a permanent £15m deal next summer, and that is presumably a transfer that was signed off with promotion almost expected come what May.
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With Aston Villa ready to pay £20m, according to The Sun on Sunday, via HITC, for a player who has less than two years remaining on his contract, Leeds are making a big call by keeping him.
Having balanced the books with the sales of Pontus Jansson and Jack Clarke, it now appears as though they are no longer under pressure to sell for FFP reasons following the latest development with Phillips.