Guardiola leaves door open to Phillips exit after Liverpool links

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Pep Guardiola has alerted Premier League clubs to the possible availability of Kalvin Phillips by refusing to give assurances about the Manchester City midfielder’s future. The £42million capture from Leeds United signed a six-year deal when moving over the Pennines last summer.

But he has struggled to force his way into Guardiola’s plans and has not made any Premier League starts. So far he has amassed just eight appearances in the top flight, all of them off the bench.

Asked whether he will make the grade at City Guardiola was coy, insisting he has yet to make a convincing case for a starting place. “I’m not complaining about Kalvin because when you don’t play much it’s difficult to get a rhythm,” he said.

“But they have to earn my confidence. All of them, not just Kalvin, all of them in how they perform. In some things he needs to adapt a little bit more but what happens next season, I’m not concerned for one second now.

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“We will see at the end of the season. We’ll sit with the players. Maybe they want more minutes or maybe they are not happy with the situation. Right now I’m not going to discuss anything.”

The England midfielder will be keen to feature against his boyhood club Leeds this weekend but may have to again settle for a spot on the bench. It is looking possible the midfielder’s future may be away from the Etihad.

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Phillips’ only City starts have come in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup and there would likely be a number of Premier League clubs keen to sign him if he is made available for sale. Liverpool have been one club linked.

Speaking in March, Phillips, 27, said of life at City: “It’s been very difficult to be honest. I knew as soon as I came into the team that I wasn’t going to be playing week-in week-out.

“I was going to have to build my way in and even now I’m still at that stage of building myself into the team. I’ve enjoyed it a lot and I’ve learnt a lot as well from the players and the manager, it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made.”

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