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Gareth Southgate tips Pep Guardiola and Txiki Begiristain to ‘discuss best route forward’ for Manchester City star



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England boss Gareth Southgate expects Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and sporting director Txiki Begiristain to hold discussions around one first-team star.

That concerned Kalvin Phillips, who is aiming to secure his place in England’s squad for next summer’s European Championships in Germany, requiring consistent game-time at club level in the immediate term to do so.

Manchester City is proving to be a difficult code to crack for Phillips, who is finding himself falling down Pep Guardiola’s pecking order in midfield, more often than note playing second fiddle to the likes of Rodri and Mateo Kovacic at the base of a trio.

With the January transfer window approaching in the coming weeks, many are tipping Kalvin Phillips to secure himself a temporary move elsewhere in the Premier League or across Europe, in the hope of securing consistent minutes in top-level football.

For the time being however, the 28-year-old continues to find himself being named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad as part of the preparations for next summer’s tournament. However, Southgate himself is tipping key City figures to make a decision soon.

Speaking upon announcing his latest England international squad selection for the upcoming contests in November, Gareth Southgate has admitted that call-ups to his side are a consequence of club form.

“For any player that’s not playing football, it’s about their careers,” Southgate explained. “England is a consequence of your club, but you also want fulfilment. If you’re in training every day then you want to play.

“He (Kalvin Phillips) is playing with world-class players at his club. I completely understand why he’s not getting games (for Manchester City).”

The 53-year-old continued by entrusting Manchester City’s manager Pep Guardiola, alongside the club’s sporting director Txiki Begiristain, to discuss the best steps forward for Kalvin Phillips in order to benefit the midfielder’s career in the short-term.

“Between him, Pep (Guardiola) and Txiki (Begiristain), I’m sure they’ll discuss the best route forward,” Southgate continued. “We know the quality of his play and he was our (England’s) player of the year a couple of years ago.

“We’d like him to be in a better rhythm, but there aren’t many players who can play in his position at the level.”

Kalvin Phillips is unlikely to start for Manchester City in any of their immediate contests, however their early qualification for the UEFA Champions League knock-out rounds could present him with a greater chance of opportunities at European level.

The FA Cup third round, or a FIFA Club World Cup third-place play-off contest, could be Phillips’ next opportunities to start for Manchester City, in the event of Pep Guardiola’s squad remaining free of any further serious injury problems.

In the meantime, the City head coach is likely to offer more opportunities to 18-year-old Rico Lewis in defensive and attacking midfield following John Stones’ injury against BSC Young Boys on Tuesday night, with the latter expected to be ruled out for some time.