Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he is keen to integrate Kalvin Phillips into the first team setup despite a very difficult first season at the Etihad.
The £42m signing from Leeds has spent most of the campaign on the treatment table, but Guardiola wants to have the midfielder available so he can take some of the strain off Rodri:
“As quick as possible we need him. Look what happened to Rodri with the cramp (against Chelsea in the Premier League), he needs rest and we need Kalvin like all the players. We’ll try to fix it.”
It has been suggested in recent days that City may be prepared to use Phillips in a swap deal for West Ham’s Declan Rice at the end of the season.
The Hammers captain is believed to be a target for the Premier League champions, but with other teams (including Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United) also after the 23-year-old, there is a danger that there could be a bidding war for the player.
Offering up Phillips could have tempted West Ham into letting Rice make the switch to the Blue side of Manchester but Guardiola’s comments suggest that such an exchange isn’t being considered at the moment.