By Noel Whelan

15th Nov, 2022 | 7:52am

Man City in Kalvin Phillips 'discussions' after confirmed news- pundit

Noel Whelan has suggested Man City will be in “discussions” to ensure Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips are under “different loads” to the rest of the England squad.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the manner of their returns to action in Qatar is vital to how they will perform for the Citizens in the new year.

Speaking before Man City’s 2-1 loss against Brentford and quoted by The Athletic (11 November), Pep Guardiola confirmed he “100% supports” the decision to call up Walker and Phillips.

The report also quotes England boss Gareth Southgate, who claimed the right-back will return to action in Qatar before the end of the group stage.

Walker is yet to play since having groin surgery at the start of October.

Meanwhile, Phillips made his return from injury with a substitute cameo during last week’s League Cup win over Chelsea (9 November).

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Whelan claimed neither player will have a meaningful role until the “back end” of the World Cup.

He told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “I’m sure there’s an understanding there between Man City and the FA.

“There will be a good relationship between Gareth and Pep, as well. I think they’ll have been talking to one another about how Phillips and Walker are coming on with their fitness.

“It’s a healthy way to have it – you’ve got to work together with the clubs and have these discussions.

“The training out there in Qatar will be a big part of their rehabilitation to full fitness.

“It’s going to be really important to how they come back after the World Cup and perform for Man City, so I think they’ll be some changes.

“England will probably give them different loads to the rest of the squad – but I don’t think they’ll be breaking their back.

“I can’t see either player starting or playing a big role until the back end of the competition.

“However, it’s important to have both of them there after their tournament experience at the European Championships.”

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