Man City interested in 25-year-old English midfielder – the right call by Guardiola?

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Kalvin Phillips is being eyed by Manchester City over a potential move next summer

According to Fichajes (h/t Yorkshire Evening Post), Pep Guardiola is keen on bringing Kalvin Phillips to Manchester City from Leeds United. The 25-year-old has featured in three league games for the Peacocks this season, but Marcelo Bielsa’s side are yet to pick up a victory .

A Leeds United player through and through, the Englishman has made it through the ranks of the West Yorkshire club and joined the senior team in the 2015/16 season. The defensive midfielder has been a crucial cog for the club in recent seasons, but could he make the switch to Manchester City next summer? And more importantly, does Pep Guardiola need the 25-year-old?

A move for Kalvin Phillips to Manchester City does not add up

Firstly, there is no doubt about Phillips’ talent as a player. Last season alone, the midfielder racked up 29 appearances in the Premier League and played a vital part in helping the Yorkshire outfit finish in the top half of the table. His performances were rewarded with a place in the England squad for the Euros where he featured in nearly every game, helping the Three Lions to the final of the competition.

Kalvin Phillips (R) made 29 appearances for Leeds last season. (Getty Images)
Kalvin Phillips (R) made 29 appearances for Leeds last season. (Getty Images)

Thus, Manchester City’s interest in the 25-year-old would be justified. While Fernandinho will be out of contract next summer, the Citizens already have a talented defensive midfielder in their ranks.

Rodri, who signed for City in the summer of 2019, has made 109 appearances in the last two seasons for the club and is of a similar age profile to the Leeds midfielder. Signing another central defensive midfielder would either mean lesser appearances for the Spaniard or Phillips would have to settle for a role on the bench.

City function in a 4-3-3 formation with a defensive midfielder and two progressive midfielders. Thus, even if Guardiola does decide to play both Rodri and Phillips together, it would mean that a progressive midfielder like Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, or Ilkay Gundogan might have to miss out.

A deal for Phillips might not be financially viable

The Englishman signed a new contract with Leeds back in 2019 and will still have two years remaining on his deal next summer. Thus, a move for the midfielder will mean that City might not have the upper hand while negotiating a deal for the 25-year-old.

Is targeting a move for Kalvin Philipps a sensible move by Pep Guardiola?
Is targeting a move for Kalvin Phillips a sensible move by Pep Guardiola? (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

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Additionally, the player was also linked with a move to Liverpool this summer, but the rumours were dismissed by his agent, suggesting that Phillips is ‘happy’ at his current club. Hence, unless something changes between now and the end of the season, the City contingent would find it difficult to convince the Leeds man to make the switch to Manchester.

Moreover, the Etihad outfit might want to focus more on their need for a striker. While they have not lacked goals so far this season, it was hard not to notice how much the club pushed for a deal to sign Harry Kane this summer. With Sergio Aguero also having left the club on a free transfer, a player in the centre-forward role might be worth looking at, especially after rivals Chelsea and Manchester United added handsomely in that department this summer.