Manchester City have confirmed the signing of midfielder Kalvin Phillips from Leeds United for a fee in the range of £45-50m on a six-year deal.
After agreeing personal terms and passing a medical, England international Phillips left his boyhood club, where he went 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 No4 shirt – will look to fill the void left by Fernandinho at City, who left the club in the summer after nine years at the Etihad Stadium.
Phillips said: “I am absolutely delighted to have joined Man City.
“City have proven again to be the best team in the country, with an incredible squad and a manager in Pep Guardiola who is rightly considered the best in the world.
“Being able to play under Pep, learn from him and his coaching staff and be part of a fantastic team is a prospect I’m hugely excited about.
“City are a world-class club with world-class staff and facilities. It’s a dream come true to join.”
Mills: ‘Exceptional’ Phillips will take time to establish himself
Former Leeds and Manchester City defender Danny Mills speaking to Sky Sports News:
“He is an exceptional player. I think he will go to their team, but I have already said that I am not convinced that he will start every game. You have Rodri in this midfield role, it is a very crowded midfielder as well.
“His first season, I think he’s going to have to work his way into the team and it won’t be easy.
“He’s still going to play over 20 games next season – much like Raheem Sterling did this year. You have to accept at Manchester City that you’re going to be a team player from time to time.
“I think it was a decision Phillips couldn’t refuse. He will now be playing Champions League football, challenging for the Premier League and other trophies.
“He’s at that point in his career where it’s an opportunity that’s probably too good to be true, so he didn’t really have an option. 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 who’s been through the academy, it’s nothing short of an incredible rise.
“On the other hand, it’s frustrating from a Leeds perspective because we don’t want to see any of ours leave. He’s been a one-club man, leading by example with his performances. It’s a shame to see it from a fan’s angle, but it’s an amazing opportunity and no one would blame it.
“It’s a good deal for City, especially with Fernandinho leaving. They’re replacing a living legend with another potential legend. I think it’s a great deal from a City perspective.
“I’m thrilled for him. He’s a lovely guy, a great boy. All the boys will be sad to see him go.”
Life after Raphinha and Phillips: What’s next for Leeds?
Sky Sports News Senior reporter Tim Thornton looks at what’s next for Leeds with stars Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips leaving the club this summer…
Leeds are fully aware that these moves could be happening for some time. They even knew last summer that Marcelo Bielsa might leave the club.
In January, they were able to fight off interest and keep Phillips and Raphinha and they’ve been planning ever since. They have already made three signings this summer in Brenden Aaronson, Rasmus Kristensen and Marc Rocca. These players would have signed regardless, but there is money in the pot 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 £60-70m on a player. They have identified targets, they know who they want and they will move quickly to bring them in.
If Leeds can get three more, they can argue it’s a good window – even though they’ve lost two huge players.
Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports
The transfer window closes at 11 p.m. on September 1.
Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumors in our dedicated Transfer Hub blog at Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up on the ins, outs and analysis at Sky Sports News.
Man City schedule: Champions start at West Ham
Manchester City kick off their Premier League title defense with a visit to West Ham on Sunday August 7, with the game live on Sky Sports.
The first Manchester derby of the season will take place 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 will face Leeds at Elland Road on Boxing Day.
City have a rocky start to 2023 with back-to-back awkward clashes at Chelsea and Manchester United on January 2 and January 14 respectively.
As the campaign draws to a close, Pep Guardiola’s side have their return fixture with Liverpool at the Etihad on April 1, then host Chelsea on May 20, before concluding at Brentford on May 28.