Leeds cannot afford to sell Kalvin Phillips after Bielsa assurances

Marcelo Bielsa the head coach

Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips is reportedly set to be the subject of a £14 million bid from Aston Villa.

Kalvin Phillips before the SkyBet Championship playoff semi final match between Derby County and Leeds United at the Pride Park, Derby on Saturday 11th May 2019.

Kalvin Phillips appears to be the name at the top of the list of players that Leeds must not sell this summer for the large majority of the club's fans. 

Marcelo Bielsa's decision to turn Phillips into Leeds' quarterback this past season was a masterstroke. The 23-year-old became one of the most impressive players in the Championship having previously looked destined to be a figure that would continually frustrate the supporters and not realise his full potential.

 

Unfortunately for the Whites, their inability to get promoted has opened the door for speculation surrounding Phillips' future, with The Telegraph reporting that a £14 million bid for the youngster is on its way from Aston Villa.

But given Phillips' importance to Bielsa's team, there is absolutely no way that Leeds can consider selling for that price, especially after the Yorkshire Evening Post suggested that the Whites boss sought assurances regarding the transfer market before committing to another year at Elland Road.

Marcelo Bielsa the head coach

It seems unlikely that Andrea Radrizzani would sanction Phillips' exit unless Bielsa was willing to accept the decision. But with just two years left on the midfielder's contract (via transfermarkt), Leeds are arguably not in the strongest position if he decides that he wants to leave.

Bielsa suggested that broken promises in the transfer market was behind his decision to leave Lazio after just two days in 2016 (via Goal). It would be a surprise if Phillips leaving led to a similar outcome, but it would certainly pile the pressure on the likes of Radrizzani and Victor Orta to make sure that the club make up for losing the player who is arguably the most important in the squad to Bielsa's system.

Kalvin Phillips and his teammates celebrate winning the Sky Bet Championship match between Rotherham United and Leeds United at the New York Stadium, Rotherham on Saturday 26th January...

Of course, every player has his price and it is easy to forget that Phillips had moments this past season where fans were reminded that he is still developing as a player.

But letting him leave for anything like £14 million appears to be a huge risk, and perhaps it would be a decision that would leave Bielsa asking the kind of questions that he thought he had already received the answers to earlier this summer.

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