By Kevin Phillips

19th Dec, 2021 | 4:00pm

Leeds tipped to trigger O'Brien release clause after source's game changing update today - Phillips

Kevin Phillips has claimed Leeds United could rekindle their interest in Huddersfield midfielder Lewis O’Brien ahead of the January window.

The former Sunderland striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 23-year-old could act as understudy to Kalvin Phillips.

This site revealed on 28 August Leeds ended their pursuit of O’Brien after refusing to meet the £10million asking price.

The midfielder signed a fresh four-year contract at the Kirklees Stadium on 22 September.

Football Insider exclusively revealed on 2 October that O’Brien’s deal includes a £10million release clause.

Phillips suggested the 23-year-old could be one of three potential winter arrivals at Elland Road as a Leeds source revealed today to Football Insider that Victor Orta has ripped up his original January plan and is laying the foundations for multiple midfielder signings.

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“I think Leeds under Bielsa have never really gone out in January and brought players in,” he told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs.

“However, this is a case now of Bielsa maybe going against principles to bring in two or three players. He has to make sure they can cope when they do get injuries in that squad.

“They need someone who can come in at a decent price and do a good job as understudy to Kalvin Phillips until he comes back – and O’Brien could be that player.

“It’d be almost a no-brainer to get that business done in January.”

Leeds United could be forced into business next month as their ongoing injury crisis continues.

A Whites source has told Football Insider (17 December) that the club’s availability crisis is such that only eight members of the first-team squad took part in the club’s session at Thorp Arch on Thursday.

In other news, pundit issues “big” Adam Forshaw claim after another Leeds United injury blow revealed.