Kalvin Phillips has stated that he would “never” join Manchester United this summer due to his loyalty to his boyhood club Leeds.
The 26-year-old midfielder chose to go for Premier League winner Manchester City in a deal worth £42 million plus add-ons after months of rumors about his future.
The six-year contract with the Etihad has been signed by the England international. “City is a top-notch club with top-notch personnel and amenities,” he said. “Joining the club is a dream come true.”
But there was a time when it seemed like a sudden transfer to Old Trafford was in the works. Phillips’ move to Manchester United was said to be “advancing on a deal” back in April.
Bringing in a defensive midfielder was a “priority” at the time because Erik ten Hag was about to join United and the team had a bad 2021–2022 season.
Frenkie de Jong, 26, who made 234 appearances over the course of eight seasons at Elland Road, was quickly identified as a priority transfer target, and City swooped in to get him.
The deal was never going to happen, but Phillips has since acknowledged that United were interested in signing him and that he was “honored” by the interest.
“Going to United? No, there was never any chance of me going there,” he said via The Manchester Evening News.
“You already know how loyal I am to Leeds, and my entire family supports the team as well. I felt honored that United wanted me, a team that size. of the biggest teams on the planet.
“But no I had to stay loyal to Leeds and choose to go to the other side of Manchester.”
Phillips continued: “It’s just how I think, how I am, and how I will always be. The people who have given me the greatest opportunity in the world deserve my loyalty. I made sure that signing with Leeds, who were the first team to sign me, would be one of my top priorities.”
After England put on some standout performances at the European Championship last summer, Dimitar Berbatov declared he wanted to see the midfielder play for his old team.
According to the Mirror, Berbatov said: “In the 2-1 semifinal victory over Denmark, Kalvin Phillips distinguished himself once more. He was among the tournament’s best players, and sooner or later, I anticipate him to leave Leeds for a more prestigious club.
“Offers will come in for him after the tournament. He is playing with poise, quickness, and knowledge of when to pass and when to run with the ball.”
“I would like to see him sign for Manchester United.”
Phillips will now be expecting to play a significant role in Manchester City’s upcoming season after that transfer never materialized.
On August 7, Pep Guardiola’s team will take on West Ham in the Premier League as they attempt to win their fifth league championship in six years.