Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said that he wouldn’t stand in the way if midfielder Kalvin Phillips wish to join arch-rivals Liverpool.
Reports from talkSPORT have suggested that Liverpool are eyeing up Phillips for the January transfer window, with other clubs such as Newcastle, Tottenham, and Fulham also expressing interest in the 27-year-old midfielder.
Guardiola, when questioned about the potential transfer, made it clear that he had no problem allowing a player to join a rival club.
“Never. Never ever,” said the Spanish manager, when asked if he would prevent a move to any particular club. “Big clubs” make decisions that benefit all parties involved, he said.
“If they want to go to Chelsea or [Manchester] United or, I don’t know, Liverpool, whatever, what is the problem?” he said.
Phillips, who joined the Cityzens from Leeds last summer, has faced an impossible task in trying to displace Rodri from the Treble-winning team. In total, he has made just two Premier League starts for City after a stellar stint with Leeds.
He played a pivotal role for the Yorkshire side across 234 appearances, winning the Championship title under Marcelo Bielsa in 2020. He then became a key figure in England’s run to the Euro 2020 final.
However, the England midfielder suffered a setback early in his City career, sustaining a shoulder injury that ruled him out for three months leading up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Now, though, with Euro 2024 on the horizon, Phillips has voiced his desire to play regularly. “I know that I need to be playing games and competing every weekend,” he said last month, indicating that he will have to make a decision about his future in the coming months.
A move to Liverpool could suit all parties involved. Though the Reds revamped their midfield over the summer, they still have just one defensive specialist in the shape of Wataru Endo.
However, Jurgen Klopp has been reluctant to heavily depend on him thus far.
This concern became evident during a 1-1 draw against Luton Town, where Alexis Mac Allister, playing out of position in a holding midfield role, received his fifth booking of the season, leading to a suspension and underscoring the need for more depth in Liverpool’s defensive midfield options.