Phillips’ decision about more than money
Leeds are starting to sweat over the future of England international Kalvin Phillips as they struggle to find an agreement over new contract terms.
Phillips, 25, is signed up until 2024 but ideally Leeds would tie him up to an extended deal as soon as possible, so opened talks recently to help ease fears that other clubs will soon start chasing him.
It seems the two parties are still some way from finding common ground though and sources close to the situation say Leeds are going to have to enhance their current offer in terms of salary.
People representing Phillips appear aware of what similar players – such as West Ham’s Declan Rice – are demanding on a next contract and so, unsurprisingly, will head in the same direction.
Leeds’ current highest earners are the likes of Patrick Bamford and Raphinha but signing Phillips to a new deal will mean making him the top-paid player at the club – and projecting him towards the £100,000-a-week mark.
It would be a major rise from his current pay of £35,000-a-week but the decision is not purely money driven, as he also needs to be convinced of Leeds’ ambition at this stage.
He loves the club and the profile they have given him but he wants reassurances that they can remain competitive in the Premier League, after a difficult start to this campaign.
Chelsea fearing the worst
Chelsea still fear the worst over Antonio Rudiger’s future with no breakthrough in talks over a new contract.
The German defender has a year left on his current deal and can sign a pre-contract agreement with any overseas side in January.
Rudiger is keeping his options open for the time being but is looking increasingly likely to leave Stamford Bridge unless the club agree to make him one of their highest paid players.
He currently earns around £130,000-a-week but wants to be elevated into the same pay tier as Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, given his importance to the current side.
The Blues’ are expecting an update in the coming weeks on his stance over how the situation can progress. Bayern Munich, PSG and Real Madrid are being linked with a move for Rudiger.
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Newcastle primary focus not on new signings
Newcastle United have not yet made any offers for new players – despite being linked with dozens since news of their takeover.
The club do aim to inject fresh life into the squad in January and as part of that process are being offered lots of players by agents ahead of the next window. They are keeping options open so have not gone as far as saying no to many of the opportunities – yet first they want to sort out the managerial situation.
James Tarkowski, Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli are a few of the names being linked with Newcastle and they are moves that may yet open up.
But Newcastle’s primary focus is on the next manager appointment, which they hope will come soon.
Paulo Fonseca, Lucien Favre and Eddie Howe emerged as the three frontrunners this week and the process could move forward before the weekend’s game against Crystal Palace, with Fonseca impressing most in talks so far.