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Pep Guardiola reveals possibility of Manchester City return for West Ham midfielder



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West Ham’s latest January signing Kalvin Phillips still has hope over a career at Manchester City, according to his Etihad Stadium boss Pep Guardiola.

The England international midfielder has recently finalised an initial six-month loan move to the London Stadium in the hope of securing himself improved opportunities ahead of the upcoming European Championships in Germany.

As part of the agreement, several sources have indicated that the Hammers hold an option to buy Phillips on a permanent deal from Manchester City, should they meet the Premier League champions’ £40 million valuation of the player.

While the terms of the agreement would indicate a slim chance of ever seeing Phillips feature in a Manchester City shirt again, Pep Guardiola has offered a clear indication that that presumption may not be the case.

Speaking during a recent press conference, Pep Guardiola was simply asked whether it remains possible for Kalvin Phillips to have a bigger role at Manchester City following his loan spell at West Ham, should he play to a high standard and frequently at the London Stadium.

The Manchester City boss responded, “Yeah, why not?”

“He has to play to make me realise how wrong I was! For the guys that don’t behave well, I don’t care. But in this type of person, and how he helps us in every training session and the minutes he played and always how he’s loved, always I feel ‘What could I do more?’”

Pep Guardiola continued, “Hopefully he can find the environment to play regularly, and of course, why not (come back to Manchester City in a bigger role this summer)?!”

Despite Phillips’ restricted opportunities while at Manchester City following his move from Leeds United in the summer of 2022, the 28-year-old did manage to secure himself a staggering five trophies.

Following on from City’s claim of a Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League double in the final two weeks of the 2022/23 season, that same squad went on to also claim the FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup during the first-half of the ongoing season.

Despite Pep Guardiola’s claim of Phillips still potentially having a future at Manchester City, the understanding in various quarters is that Etihad officials will seek a replacement and more solid back-up to Rodri during the upcoming summer transfer window.