Manchester City have set their sights on securing a new central midfielder, with Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips top of a list of replacements for departing captain Fernandinho.
The Brazilian said farewell to fans at Monday’s Premier League title parade as he heads back to Athletico Paranaense after nine years at the Etihad.
Phillips has been identified as possessing the perfect profile for the squad and City are expected to pursue him in the coming weeks.
Manchester City have placed Kalvin Phillips at the top of their midfield targets this summer
They are looking for a replacement to captain Fernandinho who is heading back to Brazil
The England international has shone for Leeds, despite the club only saving themselves from relegation on a dramatic final day of the season. Leeds’ survival is expected to increase the fee they want for Phillips.
Although primarily a holding midfielder, the 26-year-old could be seen as an option to the right of Pep Guardiola’s first choice at that position, Rodri.
There will be a need for at least one new recruit in that area as City look to follow up the eye-catching capture of Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland. Julian Alvarez, another forward, is joining from River Plate. Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Sunday’s two-goal hero Ilkay Gundogan are all entering the final year of their contracts.
Jesus has interest from north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham and admitted he could depart. ‘About my future, it’s still uncertain,’ he said.
Pep Guardiola’s side celebrated the title on Monday but are keen to strengthen their squad
England star Phillips is seen to have the perfect profile to fit the current Manchester City squad
‘I have already expressed my desire to the people at the club and to my agent. I have in my head very clear what I want. ‘
Sterling has held amicable talks with City. The 27-year-old, whose assist sparked City’s comeback against Aston Villa on Sunday, wants to focus on England duty over the next three weeks.
Guardiola told fans on Monday night: ‘Sunday was a great afternoon. Everybody knows that these are incredible achievements. I see the happiness in your faces and this is the best we can get.
The future of Gabriel Jesus is uncertain with both Tottenham and Arsenal interested in him
Raheem Sterling (left) is one of several Man City stars approaching the final year of their deals
‘It was a tough moment, almost over and the players came back again. There was a lot of tension in the last month after Madrid but these players never give up. ‘
De Bruyne was given the club’s player of the year award and reaffirmed his commitment. ‘I have another three years on my contract,’ he said. ‘This is where I want to be. They are my family. This team deserves so much credit. It’s time to celebrate. ‘
Meanwhile, following Sunday’s pitch invasion, two City fans were charged and bailed by Greater Manchester Police, who continue to investigate an alleged assault on Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen.