Man City struggler rejected loan move away amid Liverpool, Newcastle links as Pep Guardiola makes feelings clear

Man City midfielder Kalvin Phillips has been linked with moves to Liverpool and Newcastle

Kalvin Phillips has been linked with moves to Liverpool and Newcastle

Kalvin Phillips still believes he can forge himself a successful career with Manchester City after Pep Guardiola confirmed the midfielder turned down the chance to depart the Etihad Stadium on loan this summer.

The England midfielder served a timely-reminder of his abilities with an excellent display for the Three Lions on Tuesday night as they recorded a 3-1 win over Scotland in the 150-year anniversary match at Hampden Park.

Sadly, though, starting games of football have become something Phillips has failed to enjoy that often since his £42m switch from Leeds in summer 2022. Indeed, while Phillips was part of a City squad that won a Treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League, the 27-year-old has only started four matches under Guardiola.

To that end, he only managed to clock up a lowly 291 minutes of Premier League football, while he only saw 39 minutes of football in the UCL.

With game-time clearly important to the player, and with many observers suggesting he could lose his England place ahead of the 2024 European Championships if he does not feature more often, Phillips was strongly linked with a move away over the summer.

To that end, sources revealed to TEAMtalk that Liverpool had reached out to City to find out if there was any possibilities of a deal for Phillips.

At the same time, Eddie Howe’s Newcastle were also strongly being linked with a move, while interest came from overseas in the form of Bayern Munich.

And while squad depth is important to Guardiola as City go in search of four trophies again, the Cityzens boss admits he was open to letting Phillips leave if he wanted to push for a departure.

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Guardiola reveals all on Kalvin Phillips Man City exit talks

Now with Phillips opting to stay put, Guardiola has suggested there may be a bigger role to come for the 28-times capped England man this season.

“We talked with him and the club with the chance to maybe go on loan because he did not have a lot of minutes,” Guardiola said.

“But he decided ‘no, I want to stay’. He is more than welcome.

“As a good guy who accepts everything and stays, they are welcome. When we finish the transfer window, every player here is part of the family and are going to help.”

Guardiola was frequently critical of Phillips last season, urging the player to show him he deserves to stay and also famously suggesting the player had at one stage was overweight.

Phillips, though, is refusing to give up on his Man City dream without a fight. And his desire to knuckle down and fight for his shirt appears to have won over Guardiola, who was quick to laud Phillips for his excellent performance in England’s 3-1 win in midweek.

“First I want to say I’m really pleased for the game he played because he is an exceptional guy and I love working with these kind of people, as I’ve said many times,” the City manager added.

Injuries open door for Phillips at City

“Of course, he has not had much minutes in the past, I don’t know what is going to happen but it is important for him, and for me as well, to have this good performance.”

City are currently without Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Mateo Kovacic through injury, potentially opening the first-team door to Phillips to feature more.

Guardiola added of the player: “He can improve, because the dynamic he came from was completely the opposite. He stayed with us and the players we have the squad that are now injured, it is important that he is ready.”

Since signing for City, Phillips has started as many games for England (four) as he has for City. Now though, he will finally hope for a chance to show the City boss that he is capable of meeting the very high standards he sets.

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