Kevin Phillips has suggested Leeds United may sign Southampton striker Che Adams late in the window but warned that relegation fears could scupper the deal.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former England striker hailed Adams as a goalscorer good enough to take the Yorkshire giants all the way to the Premier League.

Football Insider reported yesterday that recruitment chief Victor Orta is “hammering the phone” trying to negotiate the arrival of a striker who will fit Marcelo Bielsa’s playing style.

Adams has long been the first choice of Leeds, as first revealed by Football Insider, bu Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has delivered a ‘hands-off’ warning to his suitors.

Asked if the 23-year-old may be a late-window Leeds signing, Phillips told Football Insider: “Yes, but the only reservation I have with that are Southampton are not out of it, they’re still scrapping relegation and if Danny Ings was to get injured who do they turn to?

“If I was the manager I possibly wouldn’t let him go because securing a position in the Premier League is more important and Che is a player that they’re going to need,
certainly in numbers.

“If Che Adams went to Leeds, that could be the difference between them going up or not going up, so I think he’d be a good addition, yeah.”

A Leeds source has told Football Insider that Adams is earning £50,000-a-week at Southampton following his arrival from Birmingham City last summer on a five-year deal.

United have also enquired about the likes of Watford’s Andre Gray, Sheffield United’s David McGoldrick and Hull City’s Jarrod Bowen but no deals are close.

Newcastle United’s Dwight Gayle has also been a leading target but he is set to be out until March with a hamstring injury.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club are holding talks with a young centre-forward as offer readied.