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Kalvin Phillips set for showdown talks with Man City amid uncertainty over long-term future

Kalvin Phillips set for showdown talks with Man City amid uncertainty over long-term future

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed that a decision on the long-term future of midfielder Kalvin Phillips will be made at the end of the season.

The England international joined the Premier League champions in a £45 million move from Leeds United last summer but has struggled for playing time in Manchester.

Phillips has failed to start any Premier League game for Guardiola’s side this term, making just eight appearances while averaging 14 minutes per game.

The 27-year-old has played just 103 minutes of top-flight football for the Cityzens, leaving his future at Etihad Stadium up in the air.

Guardiola has admitted that the closely contested title race, which demands little or margin for error, has contributed to Phillip’s lack of minutes.

Despite switching to a 3-4-2-1 set-up, which allows the Spanish tactician the liberty of fielding two defensive midfielders, Phillips has still struggled to force his way into the team.

Guardiola has instead opted to pair Rodri with John Stones, who has excelled in being tasked with switching between the defensive midfield and centre-back roles.

The Man City boss claimed Phillips is not attuned to the team rhythm but praised the former Leeds man for his attitude on the training ground.

“I’m not complaining [about] Kalvin because when you don’t play much, it’s difficult to take the rhythm,” Guardiola said (via the Telegraph). 

“John – we’re seven years together, Rodri is [four] years together. I don’t have to tell them anything, just little details – a movement here or there.

“Kalvin, if maybe in the past he’d played more minutes he will get that, but Rodri was in exceptional form. 

“That [midfield] role is so, so important – that’s why the lack of minutes makes the circle more difficult. But he always pays attention – in the training sessions, he is always open-minded to get it.

“In some things, he needs to adapt a little bit more but what happens next season, I’m not concerned for one second now. We will see at the end of the season.”

Phillips will not be short on options should Man City consider him dispensable this summer, with several Premier League clubs, including West Ham United, already eyeing a move for the midfielder.

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