According to The Times, there has been another Manchester City transfer update involving Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips as the Sky Blues press for Fernandinho’s heir.
The Lowdown: Champions again
Pep Guardiola’s men performed what many City supporters thought was impossible on Sunday, a near-carbon copy of Sergio Aguero’s 93:20 title-winning drama 10 years on.
The Premier League champions emerged from the depths of despair to total euphoria, coming back from 2-0 down at home to Aston Villa on the final day with three goals in five minutes. An inspired Ilkay Gundogan grabbed the first and last goal of the stunning comeback as colossal defensive midfielder Rodri also got in on the act with a composed long-range equaliser for 2-2.
Following the Sky Blues’ title parade through Manchester’s grateful streets, attention now turns to the summer transfer market, with City making a good start and already sealing a deal for Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland.
However, as club legend and faithful servant Fernandinho departs after a near-decade long spell, sporting director Txiki Begiristain and Guardiola have allegedly set their sights on a replacement.
The Latest: Ballus makes Phillips claim…
Indeed, their journalist Pol Ballus has said that the Whites midfielder is indeed top of Guardiola’s list when it comes to Fernandinho’s replacement. The English champions are also ‘considering making a bid’ for Phillips and ‘will press ahead’ with their effort to sign an heir to City’s long-serving South American.
However, Leeds avoiding relegation could make matters complicated, as they’re now in a stronger position to keep hold of their pivotal midfield anchor.
Also, City aren’t alone in their interest, with arch-rivals Manchester United, West Ham, Arsenal and Aston Villa all in the picture.
The Verdict: Standout candidate?
According to The Mirror, Phillips would cost Begiristain and City Football Group around £50m – a third of what fellow target Declan Rice would reportedly cost from West Ham (£150m). Another target in Monaco starlet Aurélien Tchouaméni is apparently rated at around £60m, so economically Phillips certainly seems like the best option.
In terms of quality, we believe that the 26-year-old’s reputation speaks for itself, with no shortage of plaudits for him in recent times.
Leeds defender Liam Cooper even called Phillips ‘one of the best midfielders in the world’ last year, whilst former Scotland manager Alex McLeish has raved over the ‘special player’ and top-flight ‘sensation’ (Football Insider).
If Guardiola wishes to add a world-class rotational partner for Rodri at a fairly reasonable cost, Leeds’ big name may well be the answer.
In other news: ‘Most attractive’ – Man City now the ‘dream’ destination for ‘complete’ and ‘dominant’ player, find out more here.
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