Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said that midfielder Kalvin Phillips won’t be allowed to play for the club until he gets back into shape.

It has been reported that Phillips is overweight after returning from the World Cup and the 27-year-old was omitted from the squad that beat Liverpool 3-2 in Thursday’s thrilling Carabao Cup clash.

Summer signing short of appearances

The £42m summer signing from Leeds United has featured in just 4 appearances for City having missed out on the action due to a shoulder injury.

With the World Cup now over and the Premier League set to resume on Boxing Day, Guardiola had initially said that Phillips was not fit and didn’t arrive from Qatar in the best conditions to train.

The midfielder is now said to be overweight and won’t be considered for selection. Moreover, Phillips will also not be permitted to train with the rest of the squad till he addresses his conditioning. Guardiola said, “He’s not injured, he arrived (back) overweight.”

Phillips short of game time

Phillips has played just 54 minutes for the reigning Premier League Champions and his inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man-squad for the World Cup had raised several eyebrows.

The defensive midfielder made two substitute appearances for the Three Lions playing a combined of 40 minutes against Wales and Senegal.

Guardiola said he wasn’t sure why Phillips had returned to City in unacceptable conditions. He said, “I don’t know [why he returned overweight. He didn’t arrive in the condition to do training sessions and to play.

On being asked if England were responsible the City manager said, “No, no, no, no. Absolutely [not]. When he will be ready, he will play, because we need him, we need him a lot.”

City restart their Premier League campaign traveling away to Phillips’ former employers Leeds United on Boxing Day. Guardiola’s side sit second in the standings trailing leaders Arsenal by 5 points.  

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