Will Phillips signing make Everton target Zinchenko leave City

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JUNE 01: Oleksandr Zinchenko of Ukraine during the FIFA World Cup Qualifier Play-Off Semi-Final match between Scotland and Ukraine at Hampden Park on June 1, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JUNE 01: Oleksandr Zinchenko of Ukraine during the FIFA World Cup Qualifier Play-Off Semi-Final match between Scotland and Ukraine at Hampden Park on June 1, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) /
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Manchester City have completed the signing of Leeds United and England midfielder Kalvin Phillips. Will this deal make Oleksandr Zinchenko more likely to leave the Etihad and could he still join Everton?

Everton are looking to re-build their midfield this summer and have been linked with a number of potential options, Zinchenko among them.

City themselves were looking for a replacement in this window for their midfield lynchpin Fernandinho, after the Brazilian star has proved a crucial performer in City’s tremendous success over the past five years or so.

Now it seems as though they have found that replacement with the signing of Leeds star Phillips for around £45 million.

Phillips is a strong defensive player who obviously fits into that mold of a lynchpin type midfielder who can act as the pivot around whom City’s multiple attacking players can do their stuff.

So, does this transfer make Ukrainian international Zinchenko more likely to decide he will leave the Etihad Stadium this summer?

The 25-year-old is apparently open to leaving City if he can find a club that would give him the chance of playing in his preferred position of central midfield.

Unlike when he plays for his country, in the Premier League, Zinchenko has usually operated as a left-back in Pep Guardiola’s side.

He doesn’t want to play in this position though and so despite being part of the best squad of players in the country, he is open to finding a new club and challenge.

I have written several times about the type of midfielder that the Toffees’ should consider and I think Zinchenko would represent a very good, solid addition to the Toffees’ current squad and be an ideal replacement for someone like Fabian Delph.

If Phillips arrival does make him more likely to leave City, the Blues’ should certainly be in the race, as he offers the complete package in terms of a number six type who can also play wide on the left, and cover at left-back of course for his international colleague Vitalii Mykolenko.

In addition, rumours are circulating that City are also supposedly interested in signing Spanish left-back Marc Cucurella from Brighton.

If that deal were to go through as well, Zinchenko might well find that he’s also competing for that left-back spot that he has most often filled.

If indeed that is the case then hopefully Everton can offer the Ukrainian a good option, although as I’ve mentioned before the potential fee might represent a major barrier.