Leeds United fail with ambitious swoop for Man City ace as player responds to Whites approach
Leeds United have failed to convince Kalvin Phillips on a return to Elland Road as he has told them he wants to remain at Manchester City, according to a report.
Phillips came through the Leeds academy before making his debut for the club in April 2015. He went on to make 234 appearances for Leeds in all competitions, proving to be a vital part of their success under previous manager Marcelo Bielsa.
The central midfielder enjoyed a top campaign in 2020-21, playing 29 times in the Premier League to help Leeds finish in ninth spot on their return to the top flight.
Phillips’ top performances for the Whites resulted in him forcing his way into Gareth Southgate’s England squad. He featured in every single match of their Euro 2020 campaign, which unfortunately ended in defeat to Italy in the final.
The 2021-22 season was not as successful for Phillips as he was out injured between December 11 and March 18 due to a hamstring injury. His absence was one of the reasons why Leeds came close to relegation last term, as they won just four out of 15 matches while he was out of the team.
Phillips returned in the last few months of the season, but those games would prove to be his last in a Leeds shirt. He left west Yorkshire in July last year when City came calling.
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Pep Guardiola’s side paid an initial £42million for Phillips, though the deal had the potential to rise to £45m through add-ons.
Sadly for the 27-year-old, his time at City has not been fruitful. He has had a limited impact due to injury issues, fitness concerns and the fierce competition for places.
Player wants Man City stay despite slow start
Phillips has made just 13 appearances in all competitions so far, with only five of those outings coming in the league.
Phillips’ troublesome time at City has resulted in rumours he might quit the club. According to a recent report from the Daily Star, Leeds have begun plotting a return for Phillips.
Javi Gracia’s team actually made an approach for him in the January window, but this was knocked back. Nevertheless, they are continuing to monitor his situation ahead of a potential summer move.
However, it seems any second approach for Phillips will be snubbed as well. As per Football Insider, both Phillips and City will reject Leeds’ advances.
The 26-cap England international does not want to return to Leeds yet and is instead focused on City. He is ‘determined’ to impress Guardiola and force his way into the City starting eleven.
Even if Phillips was open to a Leeds switch, City would not allow it anyway. That is because they want to keep him as they believe he can have a bigger impact now he is back to full fitness.
Plus, with Ilkay Gundogan potentially leaving the Etihad for Barcelona, City cannot afford to lose Phillips as well.
Leeds finding out that Phillips will not be securing a transfer this summer will be disappointing. However, there is still a good chance he will play for them in the future, once he calls time on his City spell.