Manchester City have confirmed the signing of midfielder Kalvin Phillips from Leeds United for a fee in the region of £45m to £50m on a six-year contract.
After agreeing personal terms and passing a medical, England international Phillips has left his boyhood club, where he came through the academy and flourished under former boss Marcelo Bielsa.
Sky Sports News understands, out of loyalty to Leeds, the only club he would have joined was Manchester City and he had turned down approaches from other clubs.
The 26-year-old – who will wear the No 4 shirt – will look to fill the void left by Fernandinho at City, who left the club this summer after nine years at the Etihad Stadium.
Phillips said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have joined Man City.
“City have proved again to be the best team in the country, with an amazing squad and a manager in Pep Guardiola who is rightly considered to be the finest in the world.
“To be able to play under Pep, learn from him and his coaching staff as well as being part of a fantastic squad is a prospect that I’m incredibly excited about.
“City are a world-class club with world-class staff and facilities. It’s a dream come true to join.”
Mills: ‘Outstanding’ Phillips will take time to establish himself
Former Leeds and Manchester City defender Danny Mills speaking to Sky Sports News:
“He’s an outstanding player. I think he will go into their squad, but I’ve said previously that I’m not convinced he will start every game. You’ve got Rodri in that holding midfield role, it’s a very congested midfield as well.
“His first season I think he’s going to have to work his way into the team and that’s not going to be easy.
“He’s still going to play 20+ games next season – a little bit like Raheem Sterling did this year. You have to accept at Manchester City that you are going to be a squad player from time to time.
“I think it’s a move Phillips couldn’t turn down. He’s now going to be playing Champions League football, challenging for the Premier League and other trophies.
“He’s at that stage of his career where it’s an opportunity that is probably too good to be true, so he had no option really. As much as he loves Leeds, he had to take it.”
‘Phillips could become a City legend’
Former Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford speaking to Sky Sports News:
“It’s a phenomenal deal for someone that has come through the academy, it’s been nothing short of an incredible rise.
“On the flip side, it is frustrating from a Leeds perspective as we don’t want to see one of our own leaving. He’s been a one-club man, leading by example with his performances. It’s a shame to see him leaving from a fan’s angle but it’s an incredible opportunity and one nobody would begrudge him the move.
“It’s a great deal for City, especially with Fernandinho leaving. They are replacing a living legend with another potential legend. I think it’s a brilliant deal from City’s perspective.
“I’m over the moon for him. He’s such a lovely guy, a great lad. All the boys will be sad to see him go.”
Sky Sports News senior reporter Tim Thornton examines what’s next for Leeds with stars Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips leaving the club this summer…
Leeds have been fully aware these moves could happen for a while. They even knew last summer that Marcelo Bielsa could leave the club.
In January, they managed to fight off interest and keep Phillips and Raphinha and they’ve been planning ever since. They’ve already made three signings this summer in Brenden Aaronson, Rasmus Kristensen and Marc Roca. Those players would have signed regardless, but there’s money in the kitty now.
We expect Leeds to move quickly and bring new players to the club: another midfielder, a winger and a striker to play alongside Patrick Bamford as Jesse Marsch likes to play two up front.
Leeds paid £16m for Raphinha and will look to do the same by buying players early and developing them. That’s the strategy. They won’t spend £60m to £70m on a player. They’ve identified targets, they know who they want and they’ll move quickly to bring them in.
If Leeds can get three more in then they can argue it’s been a good window – even though they’ve lost two massive players.
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The Transfer Window closes at 11pm on September 1.
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Manchester City kick off their Premier League title defence with a visit to West Ham on Sunday August 7, with the game live on Sky Sports.
The first Manchester derby of the season is at the Etihad on October 1, before City travel to title rivals Liverpool on October 15.
The champions’ final game before the season takes a break for the winter World Cup is at home to Brentford on November 12 and when the campaign resumes, they face Leeds at Elland Road on Boxing Day.
City have a tough start to 2023 with tricky-looking back-to-back clashes at Chelsea and Manchester United on January 2 and 14 respectively.
As the campaign draws to a close, Pep Guardiola’s side have their return meeting with Liverpool, at the Etihad, on April 1 and then host Chelsea on May 20, before concluding at Brentford on May 28.