Phillips decides on Man City exit amid West Ham latest - O'Rourke Column

By Pete O'Rourke, Transfer Correspondent

15th Oct, 2023 | 7:33pm

Pete O'Rourke column: £25m Kurt Zouma update, Phillips makes up mind on Man City exit, West Ham set sights on striker 'better than Kane'

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The Irons are keen to keep reported Inter Milan target Tomas Soucek.

His contract is up at the end of the season, but West Ham have a 12-month extension clause as part of that deal.

Talks over a completely new deal have been ongoing for a while, but I’m told they have stalled somewhat in the last year.

West Ham are keen to iron out a deal and now Jarrod Bowen has pledged his long-term future, they will look to reignite talks with Soucek.

They will step up their efforts imminently as he is still an important player for David Moyes.

The Irons will have a decision on Soucek’s future if no progress can be made by January.

If offers for the midfielder arrive, they could consider cashing in rather than losing him for free.

Meanwhile, captain Kurt Zouma has been widely linked with a Saudi Pro League move.

He will have just 18 months left on his contract when January rolls around – and West Ham are keen to keep him, but aware it could be hard to fend off big-money offers from the Middle East.

I’m told a bid of between £25-30million could land Zouma – but the Irons will do whatever they can to keep him around.

He is among the highest earners at West Ham and while they are not likely to boost his wage too much, they could offer him a secure, longer-term deal to win him over.



I’m told it’s looking more and more likely that Kalvin Phillips will leave the Etihad Stadium in 2024.

There was interest in the summer window but City blocked an exit after injury to Kevin de Bruyne and the departure of Ilkay Gundogan.

But the arrivals of Matheus Nunes and Mateo Kovacic have pushed him further down the pecking order and he was snubbed during the Arsenal game despite Rodri’s suspension.

I’m told it is becoming clear that Pep Guardiola does not fully trust Phillips.

Sources say the player could look for first-team football in January to ensure he is in peak condition for next year’s European Championships in Germany.

The move from Leeds United hasn’t worked and I’m told both parties are starting to see an exit as the best option.

West Ham and Newcastle have both been linked with a move for Phillips and sources say he could consider those switches with both sides playing European football.

Meanwhile, RB Leipzig star Dani Olmo has again been linked with Man City.

City were interested in the summer window but the Bundesliga side blocked a move after losing Josko Gvardiol, Christopher Nkunku and Dominik Szoboszlai in similar circumstances.

I’m told Leipzig will once again be reluctant to lose Olmo in January.

It’s more likely that next summer could be a window for him to make a Premier League move – when Barcelona could also enter the race.

City will come forward if they receive any indication Olmo could be available – but a good European Championship campaign with Spain could boost his price tag.



The Bees could react with a bid for red-hot Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy if they lose Ivan Toney in January.

He has been a revelation for the German club this season, scoring 13 goals in seven Bundesliga games, better than Harry Kane, who has struck eight times in the competition.

West Ham, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth have all also been linked with the 27-year-old.

Meanwhile, I’m told Fulham could also enter the race for Guirassy as they search for a long-term Aleksandar Mitrović replacement.

The forward, who was previously wanted by English clubs during his time in France, is likely to be a priority target for many Premier League clubs in January.