Leeds could save Kalvin Phillips from Man City nightmare but England star has a problem | Football | Sport

Leeds could save Kalvin Phillips from Man City nightmare but England star has a problem | Football | Sport

But that could be easier said and done. Phillips managed just 31 club appearances in his 18-month stint with the treble winners, the majority of which came from the bench. He’ll return to the Etihad this summer, and is widely expected to be sold without kicking another ball in a City shirt.

The England international is expected to be available for around half of the £50million fee that Pep Guardiola and co paid for him in the summer of 2022, and given his previous pedigree, the player is not expected to be short of offers. Leeds are expected to be in the transfer equation, especially if Daniel Farke’s side can win promotion to the Premier League this season.

However, a potential stumbling block threatened to scupper any hopes that both parties have of a homecoming. Phillips remains contracted to City until the end of the 2027/28 season, on wages worth £150,000-a-week.

Patrick Bamford is currently the highest-earner with the Championship leaders. But his wages of £70,000 a week signify less than half of what his former team-mate is on, meaning Phillips is likely to have to take a major pay cut if he is to add to his 234 Leeds appearances.

Given the club’s notorious history of financial strife, bosses of the Yorkshire club are unlikely to essentially scrap the club’s pay structure to accommodate any player. And should they remain in the Championship for another campaign, the prospect of the move appears even less likely.

Phillips was at Leeds for eight seasons, and was critical to them winning promotion to the top-flight in the Covid-affected 2019/20 campaign. His form saw him catch the attention of international boss Gareth Southgate, and he was awarded the England Men’s Player of the Year honour in 2021.

Upon his temporary move to West Ham, Phillips cited the need to be playing regularly in order to earn a spot at Euro 2024 this summer. But his stint started disastrously and he was culpable for goals conceded against Bournemouth and Manchester United before being sent off at Nottingham Forest.

On Saturday, he gave away a late penalty as the Hammers blew a 3-1 lead at Newcastle, eventually losing 4-3. He later responded to criticism from fans with a raised middle finger, and was an unused sub for the 1-1 draw with Tottenham on Wednesday.

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