Marcelo Bielsa has told his pre-Bristol City press conference, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post, that he knows nothing about Kemar Roofe’s links with Anderlecht – before giving his verdicts on the futures of Kalvin Phillips and Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
The Daily Mail reported on Friday morning that Roofe is in talks with Vincent Kompany’s Anderlecht over a £7million move to the Belgian side. He has entered the final 12 months of his contract.
Meanwhile, Peacock-Farrell is set to join Premier League side Burnley and replace Tom Heaton who joined Aston Villa – with the Yorkshire Evening Post reporting earlier this week that a £3.5million fee had been agreed
Kalvin Phillips has long been linked with a move to Villa, but Villa have signed Marvelous Nakamba and Douglas Luiz recently. Bielsa gave his verdict on the trio, claiming that Peacock-Farrell wants to leave Leeds.
On Roofe: “I can’t tell you nothing because I am not sure what will happen.”
On Peacock-Farrell: “If he chooses one place that is better then I can’t convince him. We are trying to create and build a place where the players like to stay. It is impossible to convince him if he doesn’t want to stay here.”
On Phillips: “There are a lot of clubs better than Leeds, but there aren’t a lot of clubs that have the feeling that unites everybody and the culture and passion of the club. Kalvin is an example of that for everybody.”
TBR’s view – Roofe and BPF to go, Phillips to stay at Leeds?
At the start of the summer window, you would have been forgiven for thinking that Phillips was the likeliest to leave Leeds out of all of the 2018-19 squad.
Instead, Jack Clarke and Pontus Jansson have both been sold, and now it looks as though Roofe and Peacock-Farrell could go too. Bielsa’s lack of reply on Roofe will be worrying for Leeds fans, while BPF looks as though he is off.
Phillips, though, may yet remain at the club. Bielsa’s impassioned speech about the academy product looks to appeal to the heart of the midfielder – claiming he is an example, or an epitome, of the Leeds United spirit. It may work.