By Dave Woods

5th Sep, 2019 | 2:06pm

Kinnear: Leeds very close to Phillips deal

Leeds chief Angus Kinnear gave an interview on BBC Radio Leeds last night and had some very interesting things to say about Leeds’ wage bill and Kalvin Phillips. 

Kinnear said that Leeds used to have a “mid-table” wage bill and that the club now was looking to sign new players and secure existing players at a higher level.

“The wage bill we had when he [Radrizzani] took over was a wage bill for a mid-table team…” Kinnear said. “That’s the reason, one of the reasons, Leeds were consistently finishing in mid-table.

“The players that we’ve signed and the players we’ve renewed, who we believe are top drawer Championship players, the type that can get us promoted, are more expensive so that wage bill has grown significantly.”

That led Kinnear onto talking about Kalvin Phillips, who has been holding out for a new deal that would put him up with the club’s highest earners, Kiko Casilla and Patrick Bamford.

There’s no doubt that, on performances, Phillips deserves to be up there and Kinnear said the club was “very close” to securing him on a long-term contract.

That’s great news and Phillips will be worth every penny. However, Kinnear did also sound a note of caution about sustainability and while Leeds aren’t being reckless, it’s tough to turn the trend of rising wages around.

When Phillips gets his contract there will be others who feel they are worth an increase too and that’s where it gets tricky.

The solution is to win promotion, of course, but then Marcelo Bielsa (hopefully) will have a new problem, working out which players are good enough to play in the top flight.

It would surely be too much to ask for him to squeeze extra out of players who already seem to be performing out of their skin.