England boss Gareth Southgate and his assistant manager Steve Holland have lavished praise on Kalvin Phillips.
Phillips is reportedly a target for the Magpies ahead of the summer, although Leeds United are planning to offer him a new contract.
The midfielder won England’s Player of the Year award for 2021 and in a new YouTube documentary, Behind the Pride, Southgate and Holland hailed him.
“With Kalvin, we identified a Premier League player playing in the Championship with Leeds. You’re never quite sure how he’s going to adapt and react in the change of environment, but he adapted brilliantly,” said Southgate of the man he picked when he was still in the second tier with Leeds.
Holland added: “He’s one of my favourite kind of players. He’s what I would call a high-performance, low-maintenance player.”
Phillips was one of the stars of Euro 2020, becoming a mainstay of the side alongside Declan Rice in the heart of midfield as England deployed a variety of systems.
Landing him would be a huge coup for Newcastle and a statement of intent, but it would not be easy getting him away from his boyhood club.
It may be fair to assume Phillips would be more likely to sign the new Leeds deal if they remain a Premier League club and two huge recent wins have moved them closer to that objective.
That said, Newcastle have the budget to go and make waves and landing an established England international would do that – so it is a case of waiting for the summer for things to become clearer.
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