By Noel Whelan

13th Nov, 2019 | 4:00pm

'He has a release clause' - Exclusive: Whelan names first two Leeds stars to go if no promotion

Noel Whelan has claimed Kalvin Phillips and Ben White will be the first two Leeds United stars to go if the club’s promotion bid fails.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider editor Wayne Veysey, the ex-United striker believes star midfielder Phillips and centre-back White won’t be at the club beyond next summer if United don’t get back to the Premier League.

Leeds have had a fine start to the season and went into the international break third in the Championship after 16 matches, two points behind leaders West Brom.

Marcelo Bielsa is expected to go if his second campaign ends in promotion failure and some of their big-name players may follow.

“Kalvin and Ben White will be the first to leave,” Whelan told Football Insider. “Obviously, Ben’s on loan from Brighton and any chance of signing him permanently will be over if we don’t go up.

“He’s too good to be in the Championship for another year and he’ll be in the Premier League next season, whether that’s for Brighton or someone else.

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“Kalvin’s contract is based on promotion. He has a release clause allowing him to go for a set price – more than £20million – if we don’t go up.”

Phillips and White have been instrumental in Leeds’ strong start to the campaign, which included back-to-back league wins before the international break.

They have both started all 16 of the club’s Championship matches this term.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that Marcelo Bielsa has held showdown talks with player with star role in back-to-back wins.