Date: 17th August 2019 at 7:31am
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Key Marcelo Bielsa man Kalvin Phillips is ‘close’ to committing his future to Leeds United, according to The Athletic’s Phil Hay.

The respected Whites journalist noted that discussions are underway between the club and the United product during a Q&A session for The Athletic, and claimed that negotiations are ‘close’ to presenting an agreement that suits all parties.

Leeds chiefs made securing Phillips’ future at Elland Road a priority after the intense interest shown in him from Aston Villa following their promotion into the Premier League as Championship Play-Off champions, while Wolverhampton Wanderers have been credited with interest following the close of the summer window.

Should the 23-year-old put pen to paper on a new deal in West Yorkshire, it is alleged he would be agreeing to a long-term contract that carries a substantial pay rise – having been earning close to £10,000-a-week on his current terms, which expire in 2021.

Previous reports of plans to hold talks with the Leeds-born talent have suggested he is chasing a deal that moves his salary in line with that of Kiko Casilla and Patrick Bamford in the club’s highest earners bracket – with both earning figures in the region of £30k and £40,000-a-week.

A move to Aston Villa in the summer could have seen the 2018/19 Championship Team of the Year member earn £60,000-a-week, but the Birmingham-based outfit refused to increase their £15million valuation closer to our £30million asking price.

Hay claiming that we are ‘close’ to tieing Phillips’ future to Elland Road offers plenty of reasons for excitement to build in West Yorkshire, as the midfielder is one of the best in his position in the division and offers qualities that we would not be able to replace with those already at the club.

Phillips stats from last season showed he is head and shoulders above his central midfield teammates – who made more than two appearances in the engine room – for successful tackles per ninety minutes, as well as interceptions, clearances, aerial duels and blocked shots, crosses and passes.

He also ranked second among all central midfielders from the Championship last season – who played more than five games – for tackles per ninety and fourth for clearances.

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