Arsenal blow as Man City ‘secret weapon’ could give Guardiola the advantage in £100m transfer race

Lewis Oldham
Man City target Rice

Simon Jordan reckons Kalvin Phillips can be a ‘secret weapon’ for Manchester City as they attempt to beat Arsenal in the race to sign Declan Rice.

The West Ham standout is available this summer as the Premier League have made it clear that they are willing to let him go.

Arsenal have earmarked him as a top target before next season as it is one of their priorities to sign one or two new midfielders. The Gunners have already had two bids rejected for Rice, who is understood to be valued at around £100m but West Ham.

But Arsenal were always going to face competition in the race for Rice and Man City are now moving to sign the England international.

It was revealed on Thursday morning that Man City are ‘expected to make an opening offer’ for the centre-midfielder. 

Ex-Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan thinks Phillips ‘can be Man City‘s secret weapon to land Rice’.

Jordan believes Phillips could be offered to West Ham as a “makeweight” as part of a huge swap deal for Rice.

“Do I think Declan Rice will be sold to Arsenal? I don’t know… it depends who else comes in,” Jordan told talkSPORT.

“There is a makeweight opportunity in this deal.

“What Kalvin Phillips says and what Pep Guardiola tells him might be two different things. If he says he wants to stay at Man City and Guardiola says, ‘that’s very commendable son, but you ain’t playing’, then his attitude will have to change.

“There are a variety of ways this deal can be done, and if there’s a situation where West Ham are prepared to let Declan Rice go in exchange for something in return…

“Suddenly you’re doing a £75m deal with cash, plus you’re taking Kalvin Phillips, and you’re making it happen that way.

“That might not be the case, it might be unfair to put him [Phillips] in the equation. But West Ham are going to have a need, they’re going to have to replace this player and Phillips might be the makeweight.”

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Phillips has been unable to make a significant impact for Man City following his move from Leeds last summer but he has confirmed that his “intention is to stay” at the Etihad.

“My intention is to stay there. We have just won the treble, so there is no reason for me to leave, other than if I am not playing I will obviously have to think about it,” Phillips revealed.

“I cannot give it 12 months and say, ‘I am not playing so I am going to leave’. I came to Manchester City to win trophies and we won the trophies, but I didn’t play as much as I wanted to do.

“With England I played a little bit, but was ruled out through injuries as well. It is just nice to be back fit. I have nothing to worry about now. Everything is fine with my body. I will continue to work hard next season and hopefully do well when I go back to City.”

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