Guardiola essentially gave Liverpool permission to pursue Kalvin Phillips over the weekend, but they are unlikely to do so in January.
Following his summertime arrival at City, Phillips, 26, has failed to establish himself and was strongly rumoured to be heading to Anfield in the lead-up to the 2023–24 season. While rumors of Liverpool’s interest in Phillips have persisted, they would eventually shift their focus to other midfield options.
Ahead of City’s exciting 4–4 draw with Chelsea on Sunday, Guardiola made it plain that he would never stop one of his players from joining a championship competitor; remarks that might be interpreted as a signal for Liverpool to bolster their interest in the England Star.
However, considering that Klopp added four new players to the midfield in the summer transfer window, a new report from The Athletic details that the Liverpool administration is not anticipating any further moves for midfielders in the winter transfer window.
That would also appear to rule out the Reds making a bid for Andre Trindade of Fluminense, another defensive midfielder they have their eye on. The 22-year-old is a highly sought-after asset who is admired by both Manchester United and Arsenal.
Given that major deals for Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo, and Ryan Gravenberch were all reached during the summer transfer season, the Anfield hierarchy’s position is hardly surprise. After a dismal 2022–2023 season, Klopp has already mentioned the necessity of overhauling his engine room.
Even though Klopp might not be looking for a defensive midfielder in January, if Phillips’ playing time with the champions is still limited, the Liverpool manager may continue to keep an eye on the player. Following a 3-0 victory at Elland Road in September 2021, Klopp singled out the former Leeds United maestro, expressing his adoration for him without holding back.
The future of Phillips at the Etihad is still up in the air, but Guardiola hinted over the weekend that he would have a choice of teams if he decided to depart in the new year.
In response to a question concerning whether he would ever prevent players from signing for a significant domestic competitor, Guardiola said, “Never.” Never at all. I believe I have expressed this to the club numerous times. I offer my advice to the club, and they determine whether or not the transfer benefits both parties as well as the player.
Why? If you block a move, that suggests to me that you are a small club. Big clubs are unconcerned. They decide with the best interests of the players, both teams, and occasionally the agents in mind. Thus, in reality, there is no issue.
Is there a problem if they wish to attend Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, or any other team? Both they and the club are pleased with the transfer. They are thrilled to be there. It’s okay because the other club is satisfied with their expenditure. We continue in a positive and upbeat manner when another player approaches us.