Man City boss Pep Guardiola has made a big transfer admission that will shock and relieve West Ham fans in equal measure ahead of their clash.

As West Ham geared up to sell Declan Rice this summer it was being widely reported that David Moyes wanted Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips as his replacement.

West Ham fans will remember the club’s failed move to sign Phillips when he was still at Leeds.

The Elland Road club rejected West Ham’s advances and then sold the England midfielder to Man City for £10m less.

Moyes even admitted West Ham had submitted a higher bid to Leeds for Phillips than Man City, as reported at the time by The Daily Mail.

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Man City boss Pep Guardiola makes big transfer admission that will shock and relieve West Ham fans in equal measure ahead of clash

West Ham’s interest in signing Phillips from Man City again this summer was confirmed by a Hammers board insider.

But despite a torrid first season at the Etihad, which even saw him labelled ‘overweight’ by Pep Guardiola, Phillips ended up staying at the club.

In the end Moyes opted to sign James Ward-Prowse and Edson Alvarez as his Rice replacements instead.

Man City had been linked with Rice in what was perhaps Guardiola’s biggest signal to Phillips he was surplus to requirements.

And of course they also made a very unwelcome bid for Hammers ace Lucas Paqueta – which collapsed after betting allegations were made against the Brazilian.

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Guardiola: He told me ‘no, I want to stay’

Now Man City boss Guardiola has made a big transfer admission that will shock and relieve West Ham fans in equal measure ahead of their clash.

The Spaniard, who returns to the dugout at West Ham after a back operation, has said he told Phillips he could leave in the summer amid interest from the likes of the Hammers and elsewhere.

“We talked with him and the club with the chance to maybe go on loan because he did not have a lot of minutes but he decided ‘no, I want to stay’. He is more than welcome,” Guardiola said, as reported by MEN.

“I don’t know what is going to happen (in the future) but it is important for him, and for me as well, to have this good performance. He can improve, because the dynamics he came from was completely the opposite.

“He stayed with us and the players we have the squad that are now injured, it is important that he is ready.”

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Phillips would have meant no Alvarez or Ward-Prowse for West Ham – and that doesn’t bear thinking about

It’s a surprising admission from Guardiola particularly as he did little to suggest he wants Phillips to remain long-term.

And especially after he recently claimed he did not want any more of his midfielders to depart.

But it will also come as a massive relief to West Ham fans that Phillips didn’t want to leave.

Because had the Hammers signed Phillips then one of Alvarez or Ward-Prowse would not have become West Ham players.

And after the start they’ve both made alongside that man Paqueta, that doesn’t bear thinking about.

Ironically Phillips was controversially picked for England ahead of Ward-Prowse despite his lack of game time.

That prompted one talkSPORT presenter to call for Gareth Southgate to be sacked.


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