By Craig Scott

21st Jan, 2020 | 6:30pm

Phillips claims striker could be the difference in Leeds promotion bid as reported offer tabled

Kevin Phillips has claimed that signing Che Adams “could be the difference” between winning and missing out on promotion for Leeds United.

Adams, 23, has been widely reported to be a top target for Leeds this month.

The Athletic journalist Phil Hay has recently said that the former Birmingham and Sheffield United striker is the number one priority for the Whites this month and there is still an offer on the table for him.

Since joining Southampton from Blues for £15million in the summer, Adams is yet to get on the scoresheet but has appeared regularly for Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side, earning 20 appearances in all competitions.

Hasenhuttl has previously made it clear that he has no plans to let Adams leave as he needs him at St Mary’s in the second half of the season.

And ex-Sunderland striker Phillips reckons that is a fair decision by the Saints boss.

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When asked if Adams could be a late January addition at Elland Road, Phillips told Football Insider: “Yes, but the only reservation I have with that are Southampton are not out of it, they’re still scrapping relegation and if Danny Ings was to get injured who do they turn to?

“If I was the manager I possibly wouldn’t let him go because securing a position in the Premier League is more important and Che is a player that they’re going to need,
certainly in numbers.

“If Che Adams went to Leeds, that could be the difference between them going up or not going up, so I think he’d be a good addition, yeah.”

Leeds have 10 more days to sign a new striker so it is getting to the point where they will either have to give up on Adams, or throw a wad of cash at Southampton to get them to consider letting him leave.

Hasenhuttl’s stance has been pretty firm though and it seems unlikely that he will let the ex-Birmingham forward move on.

Leeds should really give up on him now.

There’s not a lot of time left to sign a new striker and other reported targets, like Andre Gray, could snub a move to Elland Road if they are not impressed by not being a prime target.

In other Leeds United news, this loaned-out striker could head back to Elland Road.