‘Overweight MFs’ to stay?…’Tricky’ lease terms make negotiations opaque

Calvin Phillips could be set to stay at Manchester City. It’s due to tricky loan terms.

“Phillips’ move to Newcastle United has been thrown into doubt by City’s demands,” UK outlet Talk Sport reported on Wednesday.

Born in 1995, the 28-year-old Phillips came through the ranks of Leeds United’s youth ranks before excelling at the first-team level to become a key midfielder for the Magpies. He was selected by Pep Guardiola ahead of the 2022-23 season to move to the ‘big club’ of Manchester City.

But Phillips at Leeds and Phillips at City were two very different players. He made his debut as a substitute against West Ham United in the first round, but then missed most of the season with a shoulder injury, and in the second half of the season, he gained enough weight to be unable to train properly, leading to a professionalism controversy. His final tally for the 2022-23 season was 21 games. Given that only four of those games were starts, it’s clear that Phillips failed to live up to the hype that surrounded his signing.

This season, his position hasn’t changed much. He hasn’t been the first choice of Guardiola, even when Rodriguez has been playing most of the games and Rodriguez has been unavailable.

It seems natural that he would leave the team. A number of clubs, including Juventus and Newcastle, have shown interest in Phillips. Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), who need another third midfielder in addition to Manuel Ugarte, have also reportedly expressed interest.

Lots of clubs interested. Phillips’ choice was Newcastle. According to the British publication Team Talk, “Phillips wants more game time than he currently has at City. This is due to his participation in Euro 2024. Newcastle are likely to guarantee him plenty of game time, so he will want to finalize a deal with the Magpies in some way before PSG make contact.”

However, there was a twist. “Phillips wants to move to Newcastle, but City want a minimum fee of £5 million and a release clause,” according to Talk Sport. “Newcastle want to bring Phillips in as a replacement for Sandro Tonali, who is out through suspension, but they don’t have the funds to make a full transfer deal.

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