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“You have to consider” – Manchester City handed golden opportunity to sign Kalvin Phillips replacement from Premier League club



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Manchester City have been handed an opportunity to present a serious offer to one Premier League club over a player many would deem to be the ideal Kalvin Phillips replacement.

The England international brought an end to his largely disappointing time with the Premier League champions in the most recent January transfer window, joining West Ham on loan in an attempt to secure more consistent game time ahead of the European Championships.

However, following two mistakes leading to goals and now a red card during defeat to Nottingham Forest, Phillips’ chances of returning to Manchester City in the summer for a second shot at success under Pep Guardiola look increasingly slim.

As such, Manchester City bosses are likely to explore the transfer window for options to replace the former Leeds United man, and may now have been presented an opportunity to sign one of the Premier League’s finest defensive midfielders.

Speaking at length in an interview with talkSPORT this week, Fulham vice-chairmain Tony Khan has discussed growing interest in Joao Palhinha amid links to the likes of Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and Manchester City in recent months.

While Khan admits that Palhinha is a player both he and Fulham would obviously like to retain for the foreseeable future, there is a realisation within Craven Cottage that should a notable offer be presented, then they would have to entertain and perhaps even sell their star man.

“Joao Palhinha is a phenomenal player and I think Joao’s acclimation to the Premier League has shown that he is an amazing player,” Tony Khan explained. “He’s a huge part of the core of Fulham and we love having him here.

“I would want him as part of the team for as long as possible and we were very happy to extend his contract, but if an offer came along that would make sense for everyone I think that’s something you have to consider with every player at the right time. 

“We wanted to keep him and we have kept him, he’s staying with us and there’s a lot of demand for Palhinha. He was a great signing for us. I love working with Marco Silva and he’s someone I work really closely with over transfers and building the squad. I talk to him on a regular basis about these things, we made a great signing with Joao and there’s now a huge market, eyes have opened.”

Khan continued, “He’s a great player for Fulham, we love having him and I want Joao to stay with us as long as possible. But it’s part of the business any time you sign a player potentially you know you’re hopefully going to grow their value and that might mean people are going to come in.

“It’s an exciting part of the industry, but certainly he as a person is central to our team and we love having him at Fulham.”

Whether or not Manchester City decide to turn any monitoring into concrete interest remains to be seen, however it is certain that Txiki Begiristain and his Etihad colleagues will face immense competition should they decide to enter any race this summer.

Other potential candidates for the defensive midfield role at Manchester City are few and far between, and Rodri’s holding down of the role could present huge challenges for any player wishing to come into the club this summer.