Kalvin Phillips’ stance on joining Man City over Man Utd as Pep Guardiola eyes transfer
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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has targeted England ace Kalvin Phillips as a possible replacement for Fernandinho. And the Leeds star would be much more open to moving to the Etihad over joining their rivals Manchester United.
Guardiola is expected to join bitter rivals Liverpool and Manchester United in the battle to land the Leeds midfielder this summer in a potential £60m deal. Brazilian international Fernandinho is leaving the Etihad this summer and Guardiola believes Phillips would be the ideal addition to his squad.
Guardiola will need a new holding midfielder and believes Phillips is one of the best in the business. The Spaniard, who is also interested in West Ham’s Declan Rice but believes he will prove too expensive, has had Phillips watched several times this season.
Phillips, 26, is expected to leave Leeds this summer if the Yorkshire club get relegated from the top flight. Aston Villa and West Ham both had bids for him of up to £55m rejected in the last transfer window, but remain keen to land Phillips should he decide to quit his hometown club.
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United have also been monitoring Phillips, but Leeds insist no official approach has been made. Phillips, meanwhile, has made it clear to those close to him that he has no intention of joining United due to the bitter hatred that exists between the two clubs.
Phillips would be reluctant to leave the club he supported growing up, but knows he will have little choice should Leeds go down. He knows he could triple his wages elsewhere and would find the chance to work under Guardiola and play in the Champions League impossible to turn down.
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Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain have also enquired about Phillips, but he would prefer to remain in the Premier League.
Phillips emerged as a key part of Gareth Southgate’s England side after starting every game in last summer’s European Championships on that glorious run to the Final – and is expected to be included in his final World Cup squad for Qatar 2022.
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