'If they offer £50m I'd want £70m' - ex-top flight owner on Leeds United Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips job

Andrea Radrizzani and Leeds United must 'sweat' their assets to make Manchester City, Arsenal, Barcelona or PSG pay big money for Kalvin Phillips or Raphinha, says former Premier League owner Simon Jordan.

By Graham Smyth
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 11:57 am

Both of the Whites' star men are on the summer transfer wish lists of clubs who can give them Champions League football next season. Manchester City have been joined in the Phillips conversation by PSG, who made contact with the Leeds board last Friday, while Raphinha is a key target for Barcelona, who may have to compete with Arsenal, Spurs or Chelsea for his signature.

Leeds' position on their current England and Brazil internationals has not changed, they remain keen to keep both players but there is realism at play at Elland Road. Whites chiefs know that if either player wants to go and the money being offered matches their valuation then it will be difficult to hold onto them.

Jordan believes that in an ideal world Leeds would keep their best players and add fresh faces around them to ensure Jesse Marsch can get the club back on track and heading towards Andrea Radrizzani's vision of European football at Elland Road. But if they find themselves in a position where they have to sell, they've got to drive the hardest of bargains.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

"I would like to hear, if we were talking to Leeds United, that these players weren't for sale full stop, rather than we're focusing on incoming transfers because that's a way of circumventing the fact that at this moment in time we haven't got any offers and if we do we might sell them," he said on his talkSPORT show alongside Jim White.

"In the end they are [for sale] but the scenario of this situation is that if Leeds United are going to sell these players, because there are going to be clubs in there like Man City who aren't bigger clubs but are bigger in their achievements, then these players are going to want to go there. What you want to achieve is the maximum amount of money, you want our best players, the players we've cultivated and developed and hopefully got the contracts to protect them, you've got to pay for it. You've got to pay top money so Leeds United can kick on, regain their poise and start the redevelopment back to the big club that their stature, their size details they could and should be."

Barcelona, despite their recent financial strife, have exuded a certain level of confidence over their chase for Raphinha but it appears unlikely that they will be either willing or able to pay what Leeds might consider 'top money' for the winger.

There are no bids yet but there are other potential suitors, in the Premier League, for the 25-year-old. Whoever comes to the table with a bid has to be made to work, according to ex-Crystal Palace chairman Jordan.

HARD BARGAIN - Ex-Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan says whoever wants Kalvin Phillips or Raphinha must be made to pay 'top money' by Leeds United. Pic: Getty

"[£50m is] not enough for Leeds," he said.

"Bottom line is, he's a good player, an integral part of Leeds, a very, very talented footballer, of the same sort of genre as Riyad Mahrez.

"If Leeds are in a position where they're forced to sell him, because Arsenal are currently doing better than Leeds are, then they've got to pay top, top money. That's Leeds' job, that's what Radrizzan's got to achieve. [I would want] as much as I could possibly get. If they were offering me £50m I'd want £70m, if they were offering me £70m I'd want £80m. I'd want them to work as hard as they possibly can, I'd want to sweat the asset and make sure they got nothing from me that was vaguely resembling what they thought was a deal. It depends how good you are at negotiating deals.

"I don't think they want to sell these players, I think they prefer to keep the players and they know market forces will dictate that if clubs of a certain stature, where Leeds aren't yet after 16 years of diminished reputation and only two years back in the Premier League - one of them was an absolute almighty struggle - so they can't compete right now on paper with Arsenal and Manchester City.

"With that in mind they're not wanting to sell these players so it's incumbent on those who want to buy them to do the hard yards. It ain't Leeds' job to do the hard yards, they just sit there and say we don't want to sell our players, we're focusing on incomings. Incomings they need. They don't just need to keep Raphinha and Phillips and say that will do, they need to keep Raphinha and Phillips in an ideal world and supplement, build and support the manager, insofar as I'm not entirely sure he's the right one but he saved them so he gets a shout."