Kalvin Phillips is being linked with a move to Liverpool but the England international’s past comments suggest he is keen to fight for his place at Manchester City.
The former Leeds United midfielder struggled with injury in his first season at the Etihad Stadium as the England international was limited to just 21 appearances with last season’s treble winners, most of them coming from the bench. He started just two Premier League games, both of which came after City had already sealed the title.
Speaking to GiveMeSport, TalkSPORT reporter Alex Crook confirmed Liverpool’s interest in Phillips with the possibility City would sanction a loan move. He said: “Yeah, Kalvin Phillips is a name that has been mentioned to me in the last couple of weeks as someone that Klopp is really interested in. It might be possibly that Manchester City would let them go on loan.”
Phillips has previously expressed a desire to stay in Manchester but did admit he would need to consider a move if he was not playing. He stated in June: “My intention is to stay. We have just won the treble, so there is no reason for me to leave, other than if I am not playing I will obviously have to think about it. 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.”
He added: “I spoke to quite a few of the players about it [lack of game-time]. Nathan Aké being one; Jack [Grealish]. They all said the same: the first 12 months were the hardest of their City careers but after that it … it doesn’t become easy, but easier. I’m just going to go away for the off-season and enjoy myself with my family and girlfriend and friends and then come back fighting.”
The 27-year-old hasn’t featured in any of City’s three Premier League games this term or in the club’s UEFA Super Cup or Community Shield matches. Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola’s side have, according to widespread reports, agreed a deal worth £53m with Wolves for midfielder Matheus Nunes. It will mean Phillips faces more competition for places at City and could be open to a move if Liverpool ramp up their interest.
However, the Reds’ interest in the midfielder could cool with widespread reports in England and Germany they have agreed a deal with Bayern Munich for the signing of Ryan Gravenberch for a fee around £35m.
David Ornstein of the Athletic, who was first to break the news of an agreement, reports the player is flying to Liverpool ahead of a medical on deadline day as Jurgen Klopp closes in on bolstering his options in midfield before the window shuts at 11pm on Friday. Liverpool released Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin from their midfield while Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have completed moves to Saudi Arabia.
If a deal for Gravenberch is completed, it would be the Reds’ fourth arrival of the summer, meaning there is room to sign another player before the deadline on Friday night.