Kalvin Phillips Says He Would Never Have Joined Manchester United
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Kalvin Phillips has come out and said there was "never" any chance of him joining Manchester United this summer because of his loyalty to boyhood club Leeds.
After months of speculation surrounding his future, the 26-year-old midfielder decided to join Premier League champions Manchester City in a deal worth £42 million plus add-ons.
The England international has penned a six-year deal at the Etihad. “City are a world-class club with world-class staff and facilities," he said after joining. "It’s a dream come true to have joined the club."
Kalvin Phillips debut. ✅ pic.twitter.com/hITcgueDe0— TheMCFCView (@TheMCFCView__) July 21, 2022
At one stage, however, it looked like a surprise move to Old Trafford was on the cards. It was reported back in April that Manchester United were 'advancing on a deal' to sign Phillips.
Erik ten Hag was on the cusp of joining United at the time and after a poor 2021/22 campaign, bringing in a defensive midfielder was a 'priority',
Frenkie de Jong was soon earmarked as a top transfer target and City swooped in for the 26-year-old, who made 234 appearances over the course of eight seasons at Elland Road.
Kalvin Phillips:— City Report (@cityreport_) November 14, 2020
"I was more mesmerised by Pep Guardiola giving me a handshake, and saying, 'Congratulations, well done.' That was nice."
[@TimesSport via @leedslivenews] pic.twitter.com/CNRXuH99O2
Phillips has since confirmed that United were interested in signing him – and he was "honoured" by the interest – but a move was never going to happen.
"Going to United? No, there was never any chance of me going there," he said via The Manchester Evening News.
"You know my loyalty to Leeds, my family as well, they're all Leeds fans. I was honoured by United wanting me, such a big team. One of the biggest teams in the world.
"But no I had to stay loyal to Leeds and choose to go to the other side of Manchester."
Phillips added: "It's just the way I am, the way I think and the way I'll always be. 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."
Last summer, after a string of impressive performances for England at the European Championship, Dimitar Berbatov said he wanted to see the midfielder play for his former club.
He told Betfair per the Mirror: "Kalvin Phillips stood out again too [in the 2-1 semi-final win over Denmark]. He's been one of the players of the tournament and, sooner or later, I expect him to leave Leeds for a bigger club.
"Offers will come in for him after the tournament. He is playing with maturity, agility, knowing when to run with the ball and when to pass.
"I would like to see him sign for Manchester United."
That move never happened and now, Phillips will be hoping to play a key part in Manchester City's upcoming campaign.
“I’m one of the admins!”— George (@georgeyboy) July 20, 2022
Love to see a smiling @Kalvinphillips on why he won’t be leaving the @LUFC WhatsApp group despite his Man City move 😊⚽️ #lufc pic.twitter.com/30EiSKK4G2
Pep Guardiola's side will come up against West Ham in their Premier League opener on August 7 as they bid to claim their fifth league title in six years.
Can they do it?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/kalvinphillips - Sky Sports
Topics: Kalvin Phillips, Manchester City, Manchester United