Football insider Fabrizio Romano has provided a behind-the-scenes look at Kalvin Phillips’ relationship with Pep Guardiola as he moves towards the exit door.
The 28-year-old is closing in on an exit from the Etihad Stadium just 18 months after joining the club from Leeds United in a blockbuster £42 million move, following a drop down in the club’s midfield pecking order.
West Ham United are expected to finalise an agreement with the Premier League champions on Thursday, with Phillips making a switch to the London Stadium on an initial six-month loan deal and the London club holding the option to buy this summer.
However, there has been some murmurs within the press that Phillips has seen a breakdown in his relationship with Pep Guardiola, subsequently leading to the player falling further behind Rodri and below the likes of Matheus Nunes, Mateo Kovacic, and Rico Lewis in midfield.
However, writing as part of his daily briefing on Thursday morning, Fabrizio Romano has shut down the notion that there was a fractured and poor relationship between Kalvin Phillips and Manchester City’s manager.
“Despite what’s been reported elsewhere, the relationship between Kalvin Phillips and Pep Guardiola was very good, from what I heard,” Romano clarified on Thursday.
“Phillips has always been super professional despite being often benched, Pep was happy with his behaviour,” he continued. “Of course there were some tense moments but it’s part of football, it always happens at big clubs. But I’m told it was not a negative relationship.”
Manchester City could yet reassess their position on Kalvin Phillips during the upcoming summer transfer window, should the player excel under David Moyes, however the feeling at present is that a permanent move away from the club is most likely.
City transfer chiefs, headed up by sporting director Txiki Begiristain, are expected to recruit in midfield during the summer months, amid concerns over depth in both the defensive midfield ranks and more advanced roles in Pep Guardiola’s squad.
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