Newcastle United are assessing the prospect of a winter bid for Manchester City misfit Kalvin Phillips, who seems destined to leave at the Etihad Stadium in January.
According to ESPN, the Magpies have identified the 27-year-old as a potential replacement for Sandro Tonali, who has been handed a 10-month ban for breaching betting rules.
Phillips has been on the fringes of Pep Guardiola’s squad since completing his £43 million from Leeds United in 2022 and can no longer afford to sit on the margins.
Despite being named in Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia, the midfielder faces a genuine risk of being left out of the tournament.
Guardiola vowed to reignite the deep-lying midfielder’s first-team prospects ahead of the 2023/24 campaign. However, he has failed to live up to his word.
Even in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, occasional injuries to Bernardo Silva and Rodri’s three-game suspension, Phillips has yet to make a Premier League start this season.
In fact, he has only been involved in 89 minutes of top-flight action thus far, with his only start of the season coming in a 1-0 League Cup defeat to Newcastle in September.
But Phillips’ minimal game time in Manchester hasn’t deterred the Magpies from placing him high on their list of targets going into the January transfer window.
Manager Eddie Howe must address the shortage of numbers in the engine room. Tonali’s suspension is only the tip of the iceberg.
Newcastle have experienced an injury-hit start to the season, amplifying the need for more options, especially in the middle of the park.
Man City, on the other hand, are ready to cash in on their forgotten man, with Bayern Munich and Juventus reportedly lurking in the shadows.
While the Germans could be a genuine possibility for Phillips should he decide to leave his homeland for the first time, the Italians’ financial turmoil would probably stand in the way.