Kalvin Phillips has insisted that there was never any chance that he would leave Leeds United for Manchester United, claiming that he had to stay loyal to the Whites – in comments reported by The Times.
Phillips, of course, moved on this summer after a remarkable spell at Elland Road. It was Manchester City who secured his signature, paying £42 million for the England international.
Obviously, with City wanting Phillips, it was always likely that there would be a raft of other offers that the midfielder would turn down. The Times notes that West Ham and Aston Villa have been snubbed previously.
But there was also a potential move to Old Trafford on the table for Phillips.
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At one stage, the Manchester Evening News reported that they were advancing on a deal to sign Phillips. And it seemed that all of our worst fears could be realised.
Rightly or not, some fans will never accept Alan Smith’s decision to move there back in 2004. And that was at a time when we had been relegated and were on the brink of financial implosion. He was also joining one of the best sides in the country.
That is no longer the case. Leeds – just about – remained in the top flight and did not need to sell their best players. Meanwhile, Manchester United were atrocious last season.
So Phillips moving to Old Trafford would have felt like the biggest betrayal. Thankfully, the midfielder was under no illusions that that was one move he simply could not make.
‘Never any chance’: Kalvin Phillips addresses Manchester United speculation
“There was never any chance of me going there,” he told The Times. “You know my loyalty to Leeds, my family as well; they’re all Leeds fans. I was honoured by United wanting me, one of the biggest teams in the world, but I had to stay loyal to Leeds and choose to go to the other side of Manchester.
“It’s just the way I am, the way I think and the way I’ll always be. I want to be loyal to the people who’ve given me the biggest opportunity in the world.”