Jack Grealish’s head was turned by Man City despite his love for Aston Villa and Leeds are determined not to lose their hometown hero
Leeds are adamant they will not lose Kalvin Phillips like Aston Villa lost Jack Grealish.
Villa were forced to sell Grealish to Manchester City for a British record £100million when they did not need the money because the England star wanted to go.
Leeds knocked back a £26million offer from Villa for Phillips in 2019 and CEO Angus Kinnear claims they work hard to make the England midfielder feel valued at his beloved Elland Road.
Kinnear said: “The reality is that ultimately, and this has been proven by Aston Villa, a hugely ambitious club, really well run, really well backed.
“But the lure of Champions League and playing for a team that’s going to win trophies turned the player’s head.
“I know Aston Villa didn’t have to sell him, even at that value, and they wanted to keep him, but when the player wants to go, you have a problem.
“Our job is making sure all the players feel wanted and valued and they can grow at Leeds United.
“Kalvin is a long-term pillar for the club. We’ll work with him and his representatives to make sure he feels valued and motivated and wants to be at Leeds United.”
Phillips signed a five-year deal when he rejected Villa and Kinnear claims they do not feel they need to rush into offering new terms, despite his starring role for the Three Lions at Euro 2020.
“At the moment he’s got three years on his contract,” he said. “It’s a healthy contract and we don’t need to rush into any of these things. But we defend interest in our players very vigorously in the market place.
“This summer we’ve received a number of firm expressions of interest and some offers for players that would be perceived as our marquee talent.
“None of them have been entertained, no discussions or negotiations have taken place.”
Kinnear confirmed Leeds’ interest in Huddersfield ’s £10million-rated midfielder Lewis O’Brien, but played down the prospects of strengthening in that department.
“Lewis’ name has been on the scouting reports, but there’s been no movement on that at the moment,” he told The Square Ball podcast.
“If I was going to bet on it, I’d suggest there will be little movement between now and the end of the season.
“But if you’d have asked me at the same time last season, I’d have said there wouldn’t be any movement and then we bought Raphinha.”
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