Guardiola concedes Manchester City may require a replacement if Kalvin Phillips departs.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has acknowledged the possibility of needing to find a replacement for Kalvin Phillips in January if the midfielder decides to leave the club. Phillips, 28, is anticipated to seek regular first-team opportunities elsewhere after being unable to secure a consistent place in Guardiola’s squad following his £42million transfer from Leeds 18 months ago.

Guardiola maintained that he currently isn’t focused on the January transfer market, however, the scenario may change if the team experiences a shortage of midfield players. The absence of their regular enforcer Rodri due to injury or suspension has proven to be challenging for City in midfield, prompting Guardiola to consider the need for reinforcements.

The Manchester City boss stated, “Right now I don’t have anything in my mind. It depends if they leave or don’t leave. 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.”

In a previous statement last week, Guardiola hinted that Phillips might be unable to secure a spot in the team, remarking, “I visualize the team and I struggle a little bit to see him (in it).” Several clubs have already been linked with a move for Phillips in the January transfer window.

When directly asked if Phillips’ situation could lead to changes at City, Guardiola responded, “Kalvin is a player with us, I don’t want to anticipate absolutely anything. Everyone knows the situation he has. 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.”

Next week, Manchester City will participate in the Club World Cup for the first time in their history following last season’s treble success. The team is set to travel to Saudi Arabia after their upcoming match against Crystal Palace, with both Erling Haaland and the injured Kevin De Bruyne expected to travel regardless of their fitness for the games.

Guardiola expressed the team’s enthusiasm for the competition, saying, “It’s a competition we have never won, everyone will be there. I want the players not to be desperate to win, (but) to play two games, win the first one and get the credit to play the final. Winning helps to win. Winning against Palace will help by far.”

Despite the allure of the upcoming competition, Guardiola cautioned against underestimating the challenge posed by their upcoming opponents, Crystal Palace. he emphasized that their upcoming match should not be taken lightly, as Palace have always proven to be formidable opponents in the past.

The Manchester City boss stressed the need for focus and determination, especially when playing against a tough side such as Crystal Palace. Amidst preparations for the Club World Cup, Guardiola emphasized the importance of staying grounded and not overlooking the immediate challenges at hand.


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