Last week felt like make-or-break for Kalvin Phillips – two defeats and a return to the bench suggest his future at Manchester City looks bleak. But here come Arsenal…
GUNNERS TO GIVE PHILLIPS A CITY ESCAPE
Kalvin Phillips knew last week was the biggest of his Manchester City career so far. It didn’t go great…
The England midfielder started at Newcastle on Wednesday as City were dumped out of the Carabao Cup. Phillips’ big week ended back on the bench at Wolves and though he saw some action at Molineux, he couldn’t stop City sliding to consecutive defeats.
If Pep Guardiola’s willingness to wave him off during the summer wasn’t a hint heavy enough that perhaps Phillips should look to continue his career elsewhere, being kept on the bench even in the absence of Rodri should help the 27-year-old get the message.
Still, Phillips could have some appealing options, including Arsenal.
According to Fichajes, the Gunners are intent on bolstering their midfield in January with Phillips on Mikel Arteta’s list of targets. Whether City would be willing to sell to a title rival mid-season is up for debate and while Guardiola clearly doesn’t rate the £42million signing from Leeds, he will be wary of the fact Arteta feels Phillips would bring something to Arsenal.
ARSENAL TO TRY AGAIN FOR WOLVES WINGER
Guardiola watched from the Molineux stands on Saturday while City struggled to get a grip on Pedro Neto who, according to the Mirror, also remains a target for Arsenal.
The Gunners have tried to sign Neto before but Wolves, even amid their financial concerns, stood firm and refused to sell.
Neto’s growing prominence off either flank is unlikely to make Wolves any more willing to sell in January and, since he was unattainable before, the Portuguese winger’s value has only increased since.
CHELSEA CALM AMID STRIKER PURSUITS
Arsenal have also been linked with centre-forwards in January but their need is not nearly as great as Chelsea’s.
The Blues have spent a billion quid – and for what? Before the west London derby against Fulham tonight, they are languishing in 15th place in the table. But the Guardian says there is no sense of panic at Stamford Bridge.
Apparently, the feeling is that everything will be just fine if they hold their nerve. The data says Chelsea “have been tactically sound in and out of possession, and outplayed and outrun their opponents in every game”. If only they could put the ball in the net.
To remedy that, Chelsea have Brentford’s Ivan Toney and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen in their sights for the new year.
To fund signing either, though, the Blues will need help. There have been suggestions, denied by the club, that they are open to selling a 10 per cent stake, while The Sun says Chelsea are seeking a £500million loan from US financial institutions.
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