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Guardiola mulls move to replace Phillips if midfielder leaves Manchester City

Pep Guardiola will consider a potential move to replace Kalvin Phillips if the England midfielder leaves Manchester City in January.

Phillips has been strongly linked with a transfer window switch away from the Etihad Stadium after a troubled spell with the Premier League champions.

The 28-year-old has failed to force his way into Guardiola’s side in the 18 months since his move from Leeds.

And while Guardiola insisted he was not thinking about the January market on Friday, that might change if he is left short of numbers in midfield by a possible Phillips transfer.

“Right now I don’t have anything in my mind. It depends if they leave or don’t leave,” Guardiola told reporters ahead of Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace. 

“Some players stay, some players leave. It depends on the squad, it depends on young players and if you can rely on them or not in some moments.”

Guardiola appeared to effectively confirm Phillips would not be able to salvage his City career last week, saying: “I visualise the team and I struggle a little bit to see him (in it).”

Phillips did score in a rare start for City in midweek, netting a penalty in their 3-2 Champions League group stage win at Red Star Belgrade.

But that was a dead rubber for City, who had already qualified for the last 16, and Phillips is likely to return to the bench this weekend.

“Kalvin is a player with us, I don’t want to anticipate absolutely anything. Everyone knows the situation he has,” Guardiola said.

“It depends if it happens. If it happens we talk. The market in January is not easy. We still have incredible things to play for, and after we decide.”

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