Wolverhampton Wanderers are reportedly one of numerous Premier League clubs interested in signing Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips in the summer transfer window. The England international has been out of sorts for City this campaign despite signing from Leeds United for a substantial £42 million fee in 2022.
He was expected to come into Pep Guardiola’s side and provide effective rotation alongside the likes of Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan, but he has become merely a bench option. The 27-year-old has played just 56 minutes in the Premier League this season, with only a handful of appearances across the Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
Phillips has now accepted his fate and is preparing to leave the English top tier champions, according to 90min. The publication claims the former Leeds man is concerned for the longevity of his England international career if things continue as they are, with a move elsewhere a potential way of reviving his game time.
It’s understood that Leeds tried but failed to bring Phillips back to Elland Road in January however could make another move a few months down the line, whereas West Ham United also made an unsuccessful approach. Meanwhile, Wolves are said to be ‘in the mix’ with an interest, alongside Newcastle United and Leicester City.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa attempt contract hijack
Elsewhere in West Midlands transfer news, Wolves’ local rivals Aston Villa are reportedly trying to hijack Real Sociedad midfielder Mikel Merino’s contract negotiations. The former Newcastle man, who was one of Unai Emery’s winter targets, is in talks over a new deal at Reale Arena but Villa are confident they can interfere.
Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo reports ‘advanced discussions’ are underway between Merino and Sociedad for an extended stay but ‘current interest’ remains from Villa, who are said to be ‘willing to address it’ amid a €60 million release clause. The midfielder has recently expressed his desire to continue with Sociedad, though, so it could be tricky to change his mind.
The pull of the new project under Emery could prove to be attractive, however, with fellow Spaniard Alex Moreno already taking the plunge in January. The versatile full-back made an £18 million transfer from Sociedad’s La Liga rivals Real Betis a couple of months ago and is reaping the benefits, already settling into the Premier League. Villa will be hoping Merino has a change of heart to follow suit.