Noel Whelan has urged Leeds United not to sell home-grown duo Kalvin Phillips and Jack Clarke this summer.
Central midfielder Phillips, 23, and winger Clarke, 18, have been the focus of strong interest from Premier League clubs and that has only increased following Leeds’ failure to secure promotion.
Multiple top-flight sides want Phillips, with Football Insider revealing that Aston Villa have joined the likes of Bournemouth, Southampton and Norwich City in the race to prise him from Elland Road as they prepare imminent big-money offers.
Clarke is also in demand and Football Insider broke the news that Tottenham have lined up a fresh move for the teenage ace after being given encouragement over a £10million swoop.
“There’s been a theme of Leeds selling our best home-grown stars for the last four or five years and it has to stop,” Whelan exclusively told Football Insider. “We cashed in on Lewis Cook, Sam Byram, Ronaldo Vieira, Charlie Taylor, you can go back even further than that, and it’s impossible to build a winning side that way.
“There are weaknesses in our side and we have to strengthen. It’s not about selling, it’s about adding. Sell one or two players, and then build around the young players like Phillips and Clarke.
“Please don’t sell them. There’s been too much short-term thinking in the past. That has to change.”
Phillips was recently named the Leeds player of the year for his outstanding performances as the midfield anchorman in the recently completed campaign, and was also included in the official Football League team of the season.
Clarke burst into the first team last autumn and delivered a series of sparkling performances before a mystery illness in February checked his progress.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a billionaire-owned club have submitted a multi-million pound bid for a Whites player.