West Ham to launch assault on £50million Manchester City ace maligned by Guardiola

Kalvin Phillips, Jack Grealish, Manchester City, November 2022

West Ham United have reportedly reignited their interest in Kalvin Phillips, after scathing comments from Pep Guardiola on his current physical attributes.

The Hammers were one of the sides that held an interest in Phillips last summer. While he eventually moved to Manchester City for £42million, there were a host of other suitors.

West Ham and Aston Villa were part of the chasing pack. The Hammers reportedly lodged a bid of £50million, which was knocked back.

While a more lucrative offer than City’s, it was unsurprising that Leeds allowed Phillips to move to the Manchester side. A move to a club of that size was massive for their star man, and not too dissimilar an offer in terms of funds.

Things have not been plain sailing for the England international during his time at the Etihad, though.

He got on the field for 13 minutes across three appearances at the beginning of the season. Not long after, a shoulder injury kept him sidelined for a while.

He recovered just in time to go to the World Cup with England, though it was Jude Bellingham that partnered Declan Rice in the midfield.

Phillips played for 40 minutes across the tournament, and since his return to Man City, he is yet to play.

Guardiola comments give West Ham hope

Scathing comments from his manager, Guardiola, offer an explanation as to why he has not made it onto the pitch.

Indeed, the City boss has claimed that Phillips returned from the World Cup “overweight”.

Those comments have reportedly ‘alerted’ West Ham to the possibility of a transfer, as per Football Insider.

That report suggests the Hammers have ‘reignited’ their interest, off the back of those comments. Of course, that is not the only reason for their fresh pursuit, but if Guardiola is not keen on him, a transfer might not prove too difficult.

Rice future opens up door for Phillips addition

That captain Rice could be on the way out means the Hammers will want to find a suitable replacement. A recent report suggested they have ‘conceded internally’ that they will lose their skipper.

Phillips is reportedly ‘highly rated’ by David Moyes, which would make sense given his efforts to land him last summer.

What’s more, he is clearly a midfielder of a similar level to the potentially departing Rice. The pair played each of England’s EURO 2020 games alongside one another.

That the Three Lions advanced to the final highlights the quality that both players possess, given they played a vital role in one of the most important areas of the pitch.

Indeed, Phillips seems a great option to replace Rice with. While West Ham will feel the effects of one of the Premier League’s best leaving, that transition will be much smoother if they can fill the gap he leaves with the Man City man.

Football Insider reports that Phillips ‘could be available’ for less than what City paid for him, which was £42million, along with £3million in add-ons.

The deal seems a perfect one for the Hammers, if they can get it done.

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