Former Leeds United midfielder Michael Brown has questioned the likelihood of clubs offering to pay Kalvin Phillips’ release clause in the summer.
Phillips penned a new, five-year contract at Elland Road in September following a wealth of Premier League interest, with the club resolute in rejecting multiple offers over the transfer window said to have been worth in excess of £20million.
But as part of Phillips’ new deal, the club agreed to insert a release clause that will become active at the end of the season should we fail to secure Premier League football, previously believed to be set between £20m and £25m.
Brown, however, has stated that the clause is worth ‘much more’ than £20m, although the former England U21 international is hesitant to bank on someone coming back in the summer to prise Phillips away from West Yorkshire at such a figure.
“It’s more than that [£20m], much more,” Brown told Football Insider.
“The fee that they might have to pay will still be a little bit borderline for clubs to take, but I think he’s developing well enough that someone could think: ‘Do you know what? I think he could be the real deal.’
“You look at some clubs, they’re paying £20million at the top of the pitch for players coming out of the Championship but for a midfield player, it’s a really big call to go over that figure.”
How much would Phillips be worth this summer?
Despite Brown’s hesitancy, Phillips will no doubt attract a wealth of Premier League interest this summer should we again fail to earn promotion into the top-flight, as the Leeds-born anchor has shown himself to be a vital piece of Marcelo Bielsa’s plans and one of the best players in his position in the Championship.
There was a clear change in fortunes against Brentford last week when Phillips returned from his three-match suspension, with the 24-year-old dominating the centre of the field and interrupting much of what the Bees looked to build.
Phillips was again an imperious factor in proceedings over the weekend as we beat Bristol City, as the Bielsa mainstay – who has started 29 of his available 29 Championship fixtures this term – rarely put a foot wrong.
The Leeds-born ace registered 82 touches on Saturday, while completing 51 passes (85%), playing three key balls, completing five of eight long passes, winning six of eight ground duels, completing two of three attempted dribbles and registering three clearances, two interceptions and two successful tackles, per Sofa Score figures.
Wolverhampton Wanderers are also believed to be monitoring Phillips again as a result of his performances, having been one of the multiple sides knocked back last summer while the Whites product has gone on to record the third-most successful tackles (81) of all midfielders in the second-tier.
How much Wolves would have to pay for Phillips remains to be seen, though, as the midfielder’s agent Kevin Sharp has refuted Brown’s comments on the release clause, stating on Twitter: “Not true,and certainly no one knows any detailed clauses within any of my players’ contracts.”