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21st Jul 2022

Kalvin Phillips says he would ‘never have signed for Manchester United’

Daniel Brown

‘I was honoured by United wanting me, such a big team’

Kalvin Phillips was ‘honoured’ to be linked with a move to Manchester United but insists that he was ‘never’ going to join the Red Devils due to his ‘loyalty’ to Leeds United.

The England international – who signed for Manchester City this summer – emerged as a target for both Manchester clubs after his impressive performances for Leeds and The Three Lions.

However, the 26-year-old, who played a key role in England’s run to the Euro 2020 final last summer, has since admitted that he had no intention of moving to Old Trafford.

Asked if there was ever a possibility he was going to end up at United, Phillips said: “No, there was never any chance of me going there. 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.”

When he was asked if his stance was somewhat unusual in modern football, Phillips continued: “I don’t know, 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.”

Phillips made 234 appearances over eight seasons at Elland Road, registering 14 goals and 13 assists. Although the midfielder still had two years left on his Leeds contract, he decided to leave and joined Pep Guardiola’s side in a £45million move.

He signed a six-year contract with the Premier League champions, and admitted that he cannot wait to work with Guardiola at City.

“It was the opportunity to be coached by Pep even if it’s just for a year or hopefully longer,” Phillips said.

“I know he’s a great manager and he’ll elevate my game to a level I want to be at, and be involved in teams fighting for trophies.

“Also just be around players that make you a better player every single day. The opportunity I was given was one I couldn’t turn down.”

Phillips made his first appearance for City in the club’s 2-1 victory against Club America.

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