By Kevin Phillips

16th Jan, 2020 | 6:00pm

'The big boys are sniffing' - Exclusive: Phillips names two clubs keen on signing Leeds ace

Derby County and Stoke City have been interested in signing Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips.

That is according to ex-England striker Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Russell Edge about his namesake.

The 46-year-old, who had spells on the coaching staff at Derby and Stoke after the end of his playing days, explained how the “big boys” have been keeping close tabs on a player he rates highly.

Phillips has been instrumental in Leeds’ promotion charge this season and was watched by England manager Gareth Southgate last weekend.

“The big boys are sniffing around Kalvin Phillips and I’ve watched him over the years, he’s improved,” the former striker told Football Insider.

“When I  worked at Stoke and Derby, he was a player that was on our radar because I think he could walk into most teams.”

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The Leeds midfield kingpin signed a new five-year contract at the start of September that runs until the summer of 2024.

Phillips explained why that was a critical move for the player and for the Yorkshire giants.

“It was so important to tie him down, just for him mentally so he can just forget about his
future and just focus on getting Leeds promoted,”
Phillips added to Football Insider.

The United academy product has started 26 of his club’s 27 league matches this season, missing out only once when he was serving a one-match suspension.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a Premier League club have granted permission for a defender to head to Thorp Arch after talks.