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Revealed: How emotional Declan Rice message impacted transfer of Manchester City treble-winner



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Manchester City loanee Kalvin Phillips has revealed how a message from Declan Rice impacted his January transfer decision.

The 28-year-old left the Etihad Stadium for West Ham United during the recent January transfer window, choosing to move to the London Stadium despite interest from Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, Fulham and Juventus.

Phillips opted to depart Manchester City after another difficult campaign, as the midfielder made just two starts for Pep Guardiola’s side during the opening months of the season.

The midfielder made only six starts in 18 months for Manchester City, having initially swapped boyhood club Leeds United for the Sky Blues in a £42 million transfer in July 2022.

The prospect of missing out on a place at the European Championships this summer in Germany forced Phillips to depart City last month, as Gareth Southgate issued a warning to the midfielder amid competition for places in the England squad.

Phillips has made three appearances for West Ham since completing a transfer, having featured in defeats to both Manchester United and Arsenal, and handed a debut against Bournemouth by David Moyes.

Moyes will also have Phillips available for the Hammers’ UEFA Europa League campaign, with competition rules allowing the Englishman to feature despite playing for Manchester City in the Champions League.

Phillips’ future beyond the current campaign remains subject to doubt, after Manchester City and West Ham failed to agree on a purchase obligation within the loan agreement.

The Englishman was attracted by a move to the Hammers though, with a message from former West Ham captain Declan Rice impacting the 28-year-olds transfer decision.

Speaking with The Sun, Phillips said: “I spoke to Declan (Rice) about West Ham and he said it’s a massive family club and that’s what I’m all about. I want to feel like I’m at home. West Ham was the club I wanted.”

Rice scored during a 6-0 win over his former club last weekend at the London Stadium, with Manchester City having themselves been interested in signing the England midfielder last summer.

Arsenal beat the Sky Blues to the signature of the 25-year-old in a £105 million deal.