Leeds ‘want Phillips back’ but Man City condition may complicate move

Man City’s next six Premier League matches

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Leeds United will reportedly be a part of the race to sign Kalvin Phillips from Manchester City this summer. The midfielder could force his way out of the Etihad Stadium after seeing his game time severely limited this season, although the Sky Blues demanding all of their money back could stop the transfer in its tracks.

Phillips was an England regular and Leeds’ talisman when City forked out £42million to sign him last summer. Having risen through the ranks with his boyhood club, the 27-year-old left Elland Road with 234 appearances under his belt and two impressive seasons in the Premier League.

That was enough to convince City to part with big money, but Phillips’ career has nosedived since arriving in Manchester. In fact, the midfielder has racked up just 56 minutes of Premier League football this term, with first-choice Rodri proving difficult to displace.

City boss Pep Guardiola has not made life easy on Phillips either as he publicly called out the former Leeds star for returning from the World Cup ‘overweight’.

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According to The Daily Star, top clubs are keeping tabs on Phillips’ situation. West Ham supposedly view him as a replacement for exit-bound Declan Rice, while Leeds would also be interested in bringing him back to West Yorkshire.

The Whites tried to sign him on loan in January but City turned them down amid their push to close the gap on league leaders Arsenal. Leeds may only stand a chance of signing Phillips if they retain their top-flight status, with Javi Gracia’s side hovering two points above the relegation zone.

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The move may also be complicated by City reportedly demanding that they recoup the full £42m transfer fee, despite the midfielder’s stock plummeting this campaign. Meeting the asking price would mean a new transfer record for Leeds, who broke their previous benchmark in January with the signing of Georginio Rutter.

Despite not getting a look in at the Etihad, Phillips was given a major vote of confidence by England boss Gareth Southgate on Thursday evening as he started the Three Lions’ 2-1 win over Italy in Naples.

Better still, the Leeds-born star played the full 90 minutes as England got their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign off to the perfect start.

Phillips could get another chance to impress as Ukraine visit Wembley on Sunday evening. City, meanwhile, are likely to call on Rodri again for their Premier League showdown with Liverpool next weekend.

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