By Kevin Phillips

22nd Jan, 2020 | 7:53pm

'Crazy' - Exclusive: Kevin Phillips reacts as Leeds handed new boost in striker pursuit

Kevin Phillips says that Southampton would be “crazy” to let Che Adams leave for Leeds United as the Whites chase a January deal for the centre-forward.

The former Sunderland and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that with a lack of senior strikers behind Danny Ings and Shane Long, the Saints can’t afford to lose the 23-year-old.

As revealed exclusively by Football Insider, Leeds have been chasing a deal for Adams all month and have been boosted in their hopes of pulling off a move with Southampton’s own pursuit of QPR’s Bright Osayi-Samuel.

However, Phillips says it would be mad for the Premier League side to let their summer signing move away with just two experienced strikers in the squad at St Mary’s.

“It’s always a difficult one in this window,” Phillips told Football Insider.

“I see Leeds linked with Che Adams, why would Southampton, they’d be crazy to let him go at this stage.

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“Being where they are in the league, having just Shane Long and Danny Ings, if anything was to happen to those two they’d leave themselves short. It’s always a difficult one in the window.”

Patrick Bamford is the only senior striker at Elland Road after Eddie Nketiah’s loan spell was cut short by Arsenal, the former Middlesbrough man scoring 10 goals in 27 Championship appearances.

Meanwhile, Adams is yet to find the back of the net since his move to Southampton from Birmingham City in the summer, having netted 22 times for the Blues last season.

In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan says he has been blown away by a player who has left him “crying out for more”.