Man City star will ‘transform’ himself after sly dig from Guardiola; ‘early exit’ to rival club is ‘possible’

Lewis Oldham
Man City star with Guardiola

Man City midfielder Kalvin Phillips is reportedly willing to ‘transform his fitness’ so he can ‘win over’ Pep Guardiola ahead of next season.

The 27-year-old signed for the Premier League champions last summer from Leeds United for around £42m.

This season has been a disaster for the midfielder as he has been restricted to just 13 appearances for City across all competitions. He has played five times in the Premier League but his only two starts under Guardiola have come in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup.

Phillips has been able to get into Man City’s team ahead of Rodri. Back in December, Guardiola accused the England international of being “unfit” as he was “not in the right condition to train”. 

Football Insider are now reporting that ‘Phillips faces a big summer as he looks to transform his fitness and win over Man City boss Guardiola’.

Man City ‘have no plans to sell’ Phillips, who is ‘determined to break into Guardiola’s side – and is determined to start that task with a sparkling pre-season before the 2023-24 campaign’.

The Premier League club are reportedly ‘reluctant to weaken their midfield further this summer’ by letting Phillips leave. Ilkay Gungodan is likely to move on as he has ‘held talks’ with Barcelona.

This information contradicts a report from Ben Jacobs earlier this month. The journalist indicated that ‘Man City might consider an early exit’ if the ‘right offer comes in’ for Phillips.

‘There is a possibility that if the right offer comes in Manchester City might consider an early exit, but it’s not advanced at this point,’ Jacobs wrote for TEAMtalk.

‘From Manchester City’s point of view, they still want to assess how he actually develops because he’s relatively new at the football club. So it’s not a given that Kalvin Phillips will leave, but it hasn’t worked out as all parties had hoped.

‘Up until this point, there’s still time to change the narrative but it’s not unthinkable come the summer, that he’ll exit and West Ham are one of the Premier League clubs looking. Leicester have taken a look as well.

‘But at the point when Leicester for example, were scouting Kalvin Phillips, about three windows ago, the feeling was that he would move to a top four club and play Champions League, which is exactly what happened.

‘So that’s what’s kind of interesting about the situation now that whereas when he was at Leeds, people only thought it would be one of the big six and a Champions League club that could get Kalvin Phillips but now a year on potentially come summer we’ll have to wait and see what the level of suitors are that are interested in him and which club thinks they can get the best out of his game.

‘And a happy Kalvin Phillips, a fit Kalvin Phillips, a sharp Kalvin Phillips is still in my opinion, an elite level midfield player.’

READ MORE: Casemiro, Nunez, Zinchenko… Every Premier League club’s best signing of the season