Kevin Phillips’s agent Phil Smith has warned potential suitors – including Southampton FC – that his client won’t be rushed into signing for anyone.
Sunderland issued a statement today saying they have agreed a fee with Gordon Strachan’s Southampton FC for the striker, but Smith told Radio Five Live tonight, “It’s a shame it’s come out. In an ideal world we would have been able to digest it better and maybe the chance for the player to speak to his prospective manager without it being out in the open.”
And he stressed that Southampton wasn’t the player’s only option, despite Sunderland’s statement that talks can now be opened with them. “It will be looked at over the next two or three days – it won’t be rushed. There are a couple of overseas clubs that were interested but he wanted to stay here. There will be other interested parties. He wants to win domestic competitions and he wants to play for England.”
Smith continued with a hint that should Phillips decide he does want to play for the Saints, that the south coast club won’t skimp on the player’s wages. “His present contract with Sunderland was negotiated at a time when football was much more buoyant financially. There’s still plenty of money in the game but let’s not kid ourselves – clubs use it as a negotiating tactic.
“They’ve just got £7million from Wayne Bridge which they weren’t expecting – we’ll take some of that thank you.”