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Manchester City midfielder makes early pre-season return in fresh bid to impress Pep Guardiola



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Kalvin Phillips has returned to pre-season early for Manchester City in an attempt to improve on an underwhelming first campaign at the Etihad Stadium.

The former Leeds United midfielder made just four starts during his maiden campaign at Manchester City last season, as the England international struggled with fitness and injury issues after completing a £42 million transfer.

Phillips was part of the City squad which won the treble, with the Sky Blues winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League during an historic campaign.

The 27-year-old featured in 21 matches for Manchester City during the season, however started just two Premier League games, with Phillips’ full debut in the league not coming until a win over Chelsea in May.

Phillips made his debut from the bench against West Ham in August, however a shoulder injury sustained against Barcelona during a friendly left the Englishman sidelined for nearly two months of the campaign.

The England international did go to the FIFA World Cup with Gareth Southgate’s squad during the winter, despite featuring in only four games for Manchester City.

After an underwhelming season, Phillips has been linked with a potential move away from the Etihad Stadium, with City Xtra revealing that over 15 European clubs had enquired about signing the 27-year-old this summer.

A host of Premier League clubs and even Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich are all claimed to have been interested in signing the midfielder, however Phillips intends to remain at Manchester City and fight for a place in the team.

Ahead of the new campaign, the Daily Mail have revealed that Phillips returned to the City Football Academy for pre-season early, prior to the Blues’ upcoming tour of east Asia.

The Manchester City first-team squad were due to return on Monday 17th July, however Phillips returned earlier than his teammates, bidding to make up for lost time.

City travel to Japan on Wednesday ahead of two matches at the National Stadium against Yokohama F. Marinos and Bayern Munich.

Pep Guardiola’s squad conclude their tour in South Korea, facing Atletico Madrid in Seoul, prior to the FA Community Shield clash against Arsenal next month.

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