The Magpies are one of several sides linked with a move for the 26-year-old as Leeds United’s Premier League status hangs by a thread with the end of the season fast approaching.
What is the latest news involving Phillips?
According to the Daily Mail, Phillips is among the star players in Leeds’ first-team squad who have relegation release clauses within their current contracts.
The report states that the England international could leave Elland Road for around £30 million in the event that the Whites are demoted back down to the Championship.
And the same outlet has revealed that Manchester United, Aston Villa and Newcastle are all eager to prise Phillips away from his boyhood club ahead of next season.
It’s been a frustrating campaign for the tough-tackling dynamo. Injuries have significantly restricted his game time this time around, but he showcased his true potential for club and country last term.
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Phillips made 29 Premier League appearances for Leeds throughout 2020/21 as the west Yorkshire outfit finished ninth, becoming a key member of Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad as a result.
The engine room operator only missed 25 minutes of the Euro 2020 tournament last summer when England were defeated by Italy on penalties in the final.
What has Downie said about Phillips?
Downie believes Phillips’ arrival at Newcastle would benefit January signing Guimaraes and the vastly improved Joelinton.
He told GiveMeSport: “I think someone like him would allow Guimaraes to flourish and get further up the park, the likes of Joelinton as well.
“So, I think that’s an interesting one as to what happens with him, especially if Leeds get relegated; he’s a certainty to go; even if they stay up, I think there’s a chance he goes as well.”
Would Phillips be a good signing?
Newcastle may have to splash out up to £60m to sign Phillips if Leeds manage to avoid the drop, yet he could still be a valuable addition to Eddie Howe’s charges.
As per FBref, the holding midfielder has 99th percentile for pressures compared to players in his position, while also ranking in the 96th for tackles and blocks over the last year.
Phillips’ discipline, tactical intelligence and passing range would perhaps allow Guimaraes and Joelinton more license to attack, providing a different dimension to Newcastle’s play.