Kalvin Phillips very likely to leave Man City in winter transfer window

Pep Guardiola faces potential midfield dilemma as Kalvin Phillips considers Manchester City exit

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has accepted that the club might need a replacement for Kalvin Phillips in January if the England midfielder decides to leave the club.

Phillips, 28, has been looking for regular first-team involvement since joining from Leeds for £42 million 18 months ago.

Despite Guardiola’s first hesitation to enter the January transfer market, he does not rule out strengthening the midfield if Phillips leaves.

“Right now I don’t have anything in my mind,” Guardiola said.

“It depends if they leave or don’t leave. Some players stay, some players leave. It depends on the squad, it depends on young players and if you can rely on them or not in some moments.”

Only last week, Guardiola appeared to effectively confirm Phillips would not be able to turn things around at City, saying:

“I visualise the team and I struggle a little bit to see him (in it).”

Asked specifically if Phillips’ situation could change things for City, Guardiola said: “Kalvin is a player with us, I don’t want to anticipate absolutely anything. Everyone knows the situation he has.

“It depends if it happens. If it happens we talk. The market in January is not easy…We still have incredible things to play for, and after we decide.”

The midfielder’s failure to maintain a consistent berth in Guardiola’s starting lineup contrasts with City’s mounting anxiety, especially when their primary enforcer, Rodri, is absent due to injury or suspension.

Following last season’s amazing treble success, City is on the edge of another historic event as they prepare for their first appearance in the Club World Cup.

Guardiola’s attention is temporarily distracted from transfer issues as the club prepares to head to Saudi Arabia after their next match against Crystal Palace.

Particularly, regardless of their readiness for the competition, both Erling Haaland and the injured Kevin De Bruyne are expected to join the team.

The January transfer window could be crucial for City as Guardiola tries to find a delicate balance between team depth and worldwide success.

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