Retired, prolific striker Kevin Phillips has outlined his concern over the proposed transfer fee agreed between Leeds United and RB Leipzig for French striker Jean-Kevin Augustin, given the current financial climate surrounding the club.
The Whites have seen their promotion charge swiftly put to one side as the globe deals with a catastrophic pandemic in which all football competition has been postponed until safe to return in the coming weeks.
With lofty wages still needing to be distributed to all players and staff, the lack of live action has caused a massive problem for cubs who aren’t generating the income to continue paying these wage bills.
Leeds moved quickly to ensure that those at the club would still be receiving their wages in full after the players agreed to a wage deferral, highlighting the constraints on the club at the moment to cut back to a bare minimum, just like every other club in the country.
One key question that has arisen from the financial downturn is how clubs, in particular Leeds, are dealing with already-agreed transfers such as the deal for Jean-Kevin Augustin to arrive at Elland Road on a permanent basis if promotion is sealed.
It’s safe to say that the Frenchman hasn’t set the world alight since joining on-loan from the Bundesliga club, making just three substitute appearances with no goals so far, before suffering from an injury setback to keep him sidelined even longer.
However, it’s also clear to see that the half-season stint at AS Monaco did nothing for his sharpness with a lack of gametime, meaning he could be in for a rebirth once he’s got his feet under the table in West Yorkshire.
By that time, Leeds would be forced to fork out a whopping £17.7million to secure his services long-term, according to Bild.
Former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips spoke to Football Insider about this proposed deal, expressing serious concern for the club about completing the deal while the finances are obviously restricted. He stated: “It is looking like a very expensive deal given the financial situation we are in.
“If you are obligated to have to purchase him having not seen anything to warrant that price tag since he joined, if I am the owner, I would be concerned.
“The manager brought the player to the club so he knows the qualities but they will have to work hard to get him to justify his transfer fee.
“That may be a huge blow for Leeds.
“Football can be a ruthless world. Business is business. You would like to think some clubs would adjust their prices but I think it is highly unlikely they will do that for Augustin.”
It’s unlikely that any club will be able to budge these agreed fees, considering they will be written into a contract, but Leeds will know that they should have the funds to complete the deal if they are in the Premier League for next season.