Kalvin Phillips is keen to stay put and fight for a starting spot at Manchester City after a disappointing debut season at the Etihad Stadium.
The England international swapped boyhood club Leeds United for City last summer after the European champions bid farewell to former captain Fernandinho at the end of a decorated nine-year spell in Manchester.
However, recurring injuries and an elite level of consistency shown by first-team regular Rodri restricted minutes for Phillips, who clocked less than 600 minutes in 21 appearances across all competitions for the Premier League champions last term.
As a result, there have been question marks over the 27-year-old’s long-term future at Manchester City amidst a crucial transfer window wherein the club have already bid farewell to treble winning captain Ilkay Gundogan, who has moved to Barcelona.
Newcastle and West Ham have been credited with an interest in the City midfielder, who is contracted with the Champions League winners till 2028.
Guardiola has added Mateo Kovacic to his ranks after agreeing a £30 million deal with Chelsea, which strengthens the Catalan’s options in midfield as City look to kick on from a historic season that saw them win a third straight league title and their maiden Champions League.
However, despite an underwhelming debut campaign under Guardiola, Phillips is determined to stay and prove his mettle at Manchester City.
“My intention is to stay at City. We have just won the treble, so there is no reason for me to leave. If I am not playing, I will obviously have to think about it,” he said, as per Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail.
“But I cannot give it 12 months and say, ‘I am not playing so I am going to leave’. As you have seen with many players at City, it can take quite a while to cement yourself into the team. I will definitely speak to Pep (Guardiola).”
Phillips opened up on his injury struggles over the last 12 months and how his first season at City has been impacted by a lack of match fitness. “To be honest, I was injured before I even went to City so that is one of the main reasons why I was injured so much,” he said.
“City have been amazing to help me get back to full fitness and I eventually played a few more games for City and England, so credit to the medical staff at City for helping me.
“It was my hamstring that I had my operation on at Leeds. I was still struggling with that and then my shoulder that I did when I was at Leeds as well before the Euros. So, it was just recurring injuries.”
However, Phillips does appreciate that minutes have been hard to come by despite his return to full fitness at the business stages of last season.
He added: “I have felt 100 percent for quite a while but obviously have not played and everyone has seen that. But I’ve not missed a game since being back from the operation. I’ve been on the bench but not been unfit to not be in the squad. I’ve felt 100 percent since then.
“They all said that the first 12 months were the hardest of their City careers. I’m just going to go away for the off-season and enjoy myself with my family, girlfriend and friends – and then come back fighting.
“Just know how difficult it is to understand the way Pep wants to play and how quickly you need to adapt to play in his system. I am on the brink of almost getting it. Obviously, there is a little bit of work in pre-season and hopefully I’ll be alright.”
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