Kalvin Phillips’ Leeds United association may have formally ended this summer but the much-loved defensive midfielder’s connection to the city and the club remains.
Speaking following his Manchester City transfer, the England man revealed the truth behind supposed Manchester United interest in his services.
Leeds’ rivalry with the red half of Manchester is a fierce and historic one, and has seen the likes of Alan Smith and Rio Ferdinand cross battle lines in years past.
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Phillips’ homegrown hero status at Elland Road meant any transfer would be difficult for supporters to stomach, but signing for the Whites’ biggest rivals would have been especially hard to digest.
The 26-year-old did swap Leeds for Manchester this summer but chose the blue half and Man City as his destination, to work under the illustrious Pep Guardiola representing the Premier League champions.
"No, there was never any chance of me going there [Man United],” Phillips told the Daily Mail. “You know my loyalty to Leeds, my family as well, they’re all Leeds fans.”
“I was honoured by [Man] United wanting me, such a big team – one of the biggest teams in the world. But no, 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. Leeds were the first team to sign me, I made sure that was one of the main things I’d do,” he added.
Phillips is looking forward to working with Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium but has admitted he remains in close contact with his former Elland Road teammates, largely due to his popularity among the Leeds squad.