'Massive controversy' - Exclusive: Whelan reacts to rival club reportedly circling Leeds star

Noel Whelan claimed it would be a very controversial move if Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips left the club in order to join rivals Manchester United.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the ex-Leeds attacker stated he couldn’t envision Phillips leaving Elland Road to rock up at Old Trafford anytime soon as he has made it clear that he is loyal to Leeds.

The Sun reported on Sunday that Man United were desperately chasing the defensive midfielder and had reguarly been scouting him this season.

Whelan suggested Leeds fans would be aggravated by just the idea of their club’s rivals being keen on Phillips but made it clear he didn’t think the 23-year-old was going anywhere.

When asked about Manchester United reportedly scouting Phillips, Whelan told Football Insider: “He’s a Leeds lad, that would cause massive controversy if he left Leeds to go to United, I just don’t see it happening in this coming season.

“Kalvin has stated his loyalties to the club, his loyalties to getting the club back into the Premier League, he’s loyalties to stay as he is a Leeds lad and we were so pleased he signed a long-term contract.

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“It’s one thing that is going to aggravate the Leeds United fans I’m sure but Kalvin has made it plainly clear that isn’t for sale this season and he’s going to give Leeds United that fair chance to get back in the Premier League and if he does, then he’s got everything he needs right there.”

The bad feeling between Leeds and Man United was one described ‘English football’s most intense, and most inexplicable’ and their rivalry dates back many years.

Phillips has been at Elland Road for his entire professional career and is contracted to stay with the Whites until 2024 after signing a new long-term deal in September.

In other Leeds United news, Darren Bent believes PL giants could make a fantastic signing by recruiting this first-team mainstay.