EXCLUSIVE By Wayne Veysey
Leeds United have knocked back an approach from Aston Villa for Kalvin Phillips, Football Insider understands.
The Yorkshire giants do not want to lose the central midfielder after giving the green light for another academy product, Jack Clarke, to join Tottenham this week.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that Villa have registered their interest in Phillips as they prepare to table what is expected a bid well in excess of £10million.
But Leeds have made it clear that the 23-year-old is not for sale as they look to fend off all interest in a player Marcelo Bielsa regards as integral to next season’s promotion campaign.
Phillips took his game to a new level in 2018-19 and was named in the official Football League team of the year for a series of outstanding performances in defensive midfield.
He has attracted interest from multiple Premier League clubs, with Wolves and Bournemouth joining Villa in keeping close tabs on him.
As revealed by Football Insider, Leeds have made an early move to keep Phillips by promising him he will be offered an improved contract.
There is hope among the club’s hierarchy that an extended deal with a significant pay rise will be enough to keep Phillips, who has made it clear behind the scenes that he wants to stay at his boyhood club.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a northern club are plotting a sensational double Leeds swoop as exodus reaches new level.