Despite the interest of two of Spain’s biggest clubs, English clubs such as Crystal Palace, West Ham United and Newcastle United are not out of the race to sign midfielder Phillips, who needs a guarantee of regular football for the rest of the season.
While moving to Barca or Atletico would be more eye-catching, accepting a short-term deal at Palace or West Ham may give Phillips a better opportunity of keeping his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the European Championship.
Newcastle and Juventus had been at the front of the queue of clubs trying to take Phillips on an initial loan until the end of the season, but the pair have delayed making a firm move which has evened out the field.
There is optimism that the future of Phillips could be decided next week, which may place pressure on Newcastle, who are dealing with a host of injuries and only one incoming domestic loan at their disposal, and Juventus, to make firm decisions.
City are said to be relaxed over the situation regarding Phillips, with sources denying claims that their financial demands over a loan deal have placed a move in jeopardy. Similarly, claims that clubs must agree to an obligation to buy the 28-year-old at the end of the season have been dismissed.
While Newcastle only have one domestic loan left to use this month and must decide whether to use it on Phillips or a more offensive-minded player, Palace and West Ham have two spots available to them.
Palace manager Roy Hodgson this week confirmed his interest in signing Phillips by saying: “I would like to think that if Kalvin Phillips is available and a possibility for the club – once again, there will be financial restrictions, who knows whether the club feels they will be able to afford that – but if you’re talking about the level of player, I don’t feel there will be many managers who would not say ‘yeah, we will be really happy to have him come to the club’.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a name that’s out there. All we know, like most other clubs, is that there is a possibility that Manchester City will either sell him or loan him.
“If they are purely going to sell him, then I don’t think we will be in the market. If they’re going to loan him, I would like to think that we could possibly put our hand up and push ourselves forward.
“What we could then of course offer is the chance to play regular football in the Premier League in the build-up to what will be a very important summer for England and for him.
“We might not be the only club in that position, so at the end of the day, a lot will have to happen before we find out where Kalvin Phillips is going to end up if he’s going to go anywhere.”