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“I apologised to him” – Pep Guardiola issues fresh apology to Kalvin Phillips after ‘overweight’ jibe



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has issued a fresh apology to Kalvin Phillips for comments relating to the midfielder’s weight.

The England midfielder completed a loan move to West Ham United for the remainder of the campaign in January, choosing to sign for David Moyes’ side despite interest from Newcastle United, Tottenham, Crystal Palace, Fulham and Juventus.

Phillips, who has made only six starts for Manchester City since signing from Leeds United for £42 million in July 2022, was sent off for West Ham against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday.

The 28-year-old has made four appearances for the Hammers since swapping the Etihad Stadium for the London Stadium, and is bidding to reignite his career ahead of the European Championships in Germany this summer.

Phillips’ move to the Hammers is partly motivated by England ambitions, with Phillips looking to revive his international career after stalling at Manchester City.

The midfielder was selected for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 despite a lack of minutes, and won four trophies including the Premier League and UEFA Champions League with Manchester City during the 2022/23 campaign.

Phillips was dropped by Pep Guardiola upon returning from the World Cup due to being ‘overweight’, comments the Catalonian has recently issued a fresh apology for, after the midfielder revealed the damaging impact of the remarks.

“Yeah, I’m sorry. Yeah, I’m sorry,” said Guardiola ahead of the Blues’ clash with Brentford at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday evening.

“Once in eight years is not bad, but I’m so sorry. I apologised to him, I do apologise, I’m so sorry.”

“(He said he didn’t clear the air with you about that?) No, no, I spoke about that. Yeah, before I came here to say (it), I spoke to him. I never, never before I say something here, I don’t speak with the teams, with the players in that case.”

Phillips featured during City’s loss to Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium last May, with Thomas Frank’s side travelling to the Etihad Stadium in midweek.

Manchester City can move to within one point of the top of the Premier League table with a win over the Bees on Tuesday, as Guardiola’s side bid to bounce back from Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea.