Leeds United academy graduate confirms Newcastle United transfer interest after £7m snub
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Newcastle had identified Phillips as a top target in the winter window but distanced themselves from a deal following Man City's demands of a £7million loan fee for the England international. West Ham United eventually swooped in to complete a loan move for the 28-year-old until the end of the season, paying a loan fee and 100% of the player's wages.
Phillips joined Manchester City from Leeds United in 2022 for £42million but had been limited to just two Premier League starts at the club and was at risk of losing his place in the England squad due to a lack of first-team action.
Following the move to West Ham, Phillips reflected on a conversation he had with England manager Gareth Southgate as he looks to secure his spot at Euro 2024.
"I spoke to him about a few teams," Phillips said. "Juventus were there, I think they were going to leave it until the last minute. I mentioned Newcastle, which could have been a possibility.
"I knew that West Ham would probably come in a bit later.
“He told me that he wasn’t going to tell me what to do but he said the Premier League is a lot more difficult, a more competitive league. He said to be playing in the Premier League versus playing anywhere else, it’s just that little bit of a step down in quality.
"So yeah, he influenced me to stay in England. And when West Ham came in, I thought it was the right place to go.
“It was just the size of the club and the manager [David Moyes] influenced me a lot. He told me he’d wanted me for the last few transfer windows. I felt like if I wasn’t going to play at City, I want to go to a club where I’m wanted.
"Not that City didn’t want me but I wanted to go somewhere where the manager was really keen and where he really wanted me.
“I spoke as well to Declan [Rice, England midfielder and former West Ham captain] and he said it’s a massive family club. That’s what I’m all about. I want to feel like I’m at home wherever I go."
Phillips' loan spell hasn't got off to the best of starts with the midfielder's pass setting up opposition forward Dominic Solanke just minutes into his West Ham debut against Bournemouth. The Hammers have since been beaten 3-0 by Manchester United and 6-0 by Arsenal.