Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has aimed a brutal dig at Kalvin Phillips by calling him “overweight” after returning from England duties at the World Cup.

Phillips, who City signed from Leeds United in a £45m deal in the summer, punched his ticket into Gareth Southgate’s 26-man England squad for the World Cup.

However, the former Leeds ace was sporadically used by England boss Southgate during the tournament in Qatar after recovering from a shoulder injury.

Phillips was on the bench for England’s 6-2 demolition of Iran in his side’s Group B opener and was an unused substitute in the 0-0 draw against the USA.

Phillips was left out of the squad for the win at the Etihad, but Guardiola has revealed why the England midfielder was missing in action for City.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola called out England midfielder Kalvin Phillips. Credit: AlamyAccording to Guardiola, Phillips was not match fit for the Liverpool clash and returned to the defending Premier League champions “overweight.”

The former Bayern Munich and Barcelona manager insisted that Phillips, who has made four appearances for City this season, was not injured.

When asked about Phillips, Guardiola told the press: “He’s not injured. He arrived overweight.

“I don’t know [why]. He didn’t arrive in the condition to do training sessions and to play.”

When pressed on Phillips’ fitness despite being called up for international duty with England, Guardiola added: “No, no, no. Absolutely. That’s why he cannot play.


“When he will be ready, he will play, because we need him, we need him a lot.”

City will resume their Premier League campaign on Wednesday for their clash with Phillips’ former side at Elland Road.

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