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View: As emotional Leeds United player exit looms, one aspect feels a ”kick in the teeth”

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Image for View: As emotional Leeds United player exit looms, one aspect feels a ”kick in the teeth”

Kalvin Phillips is closing in on his Leeds United exit as a move to Manchester City beckons.

Leeds fans have been accepting the fact that Phillips was City-bound for a week now, after news broke that the two clubs had agreed a fee.

According to The Athletic, the fee in question will be £42m, with an additional £3m in potential add-ons.

It’s been a real talking point amongst fans of the club over the last week, not least the fee, given it seems quite low for the England international.

Toby (Neutral) and Alfie (N12) discuss the fee here:

A fee of £42million does feel like it will be below what many Leeds fans would have been hoping to receive for Phillips.

When you consider how important Phillips has been for club and country, you do get the feeling that Leeds could have pushed this slightly higher, especially given two years left on the midfielder’s contract gave them some scope to negotiate.

Indeed, this is quite a bit lower than the fees that have been suggested for Declan Rice, who Phillips is so good alongside in the Euros, and there may be an argument that the Leeds man should therefore be worth an amount similar to what the Hammers appear to be demanding for their talisman.

Given there appeared to be interest from elsewhere as well, you wonder whether Leeds could have engineered a bidding war to drive the price up too, meaning this fee is arguably slightly below par for the Elland Road club.

Given Phillips only had two years left on his deal and a new contract wasn’t forthcoming, you kind of accepted that the fee involved here wasn’t going to be astronomical.

However, for City to negotiate a fee as low as £42m for Phillips does feel like a slight kick in the teeth.

This is an England international we are talking about. Not just a squad player, either. Phillips was his country’s best player last season and, for me, the bidding should’ve started at £50m minimum.

Look, it’s not far off that, it just feels like Leeds could’ve squeezed more out of a player that just about every club in the country – not to mention abroad – could find a use for.

Everyone will wish Phillips nothing but the best when he moves on to a challenge he clearly wanted to take, but it does sour the taste that it doesn’t feel like Leeds have got the best deal they possibly could for him.

Ultimately that’s on Leeds, who failed to negotiate a contract with Phillips to tie him down beyond 2024 and truly protect their asset. That’s something that Aston Villa (Jack Grealish) and West Ham (Declan Rice) have done expertly in recent years.

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Leeds United Season Ticket Holder at Elland Road for over 20 seasons. Currently nestled in N12, but occasionally offering views from the press box. We’ve been through it all together? You bet.