Kalvin Phillips confirmed Manchester United’s interest in him, insisting that joining the Red Devils was never an option.
Kalvin Phillps made a difficult career decision this summer as he left Leeds United for Manchester City. The midfielder had spent his entire footballing journey with the Whites and played a key role in their return to the Premier League in 2020.
Phillips’ performances for the club since helping Leeds gain promotion to the Premier League have been impressive. He regularly features in Gareth Southgate’s England team and naturally many expected him to depart Elland Road this window.
There were talks of a new contract, but he eventually ended up joining Manchester City in a £45 million deal. Pep Guardiola wanted a new midfielder to replace veteran star Fernandinho, who left the club after his contract expired.
The big story before Phillips joined Man City was the reported interest from Manchester United. Leeds United consider the Red Devils their eternal rivals, and despite that, many players have crossed the divide in the past, most notably Eric Cantona and Rio Ferdinand.
— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) July 21, 2022
However, Phillips believes his connection to Leeds United and his family meant joining Manchester United was never an option. Goal.com quoted the midfielder confirming interest from Old Trafford, as the England international relayed his reasons to join Man City.
Phillips said: “Going to United? There was never any chance of me going there. You know my loyalty to Leeds. My family are all Leeds fans. I was honoured by Man Utd wanting me, one of the biggest teams in the world, but no, I had to stay loyal to Leeds and go to the other side of Manchester.”
“I want to be loyal to the people who’ve given me the biggest opportunity in the world. Leeds were the first team to sign me; I made sure that was one of the main things I’d do.”
Phillips also highlighted his reasons for joining Manchester City, citing Guardiola as one of the big reasons for the switch. “It was the opportunity to be coached by Pep [Guardiola], even if it’s just for a year or hopefully longer. I know he’s a great manager, and he’ll elevate my game to a level I want to be at and be involved in teams fighting for trophies,” he said.
“Also, just be around players that make you a better player every single day. The opportunity I was given was one I couldn’t turn down. Even if Pep’s only here for one more year, it will hopefully be a good year.”
Phillips was Manchester City’s second big signing of the summer window, after the early arrival of star striker Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund. He will be hoping to play a big part for Guardiola’s title-winning team and help them achieve greater success.