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Exclusive – Arsenal have told Manchester City to keep them informed about the availability of defender John Stones.
The former Everton defender has 18 months remaining on his contract with Etihad Stadium, but faces fierce competition for spots on Pep Guardiola’s team from players like Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake.
He has been restricted to just three Premier League appearances during 2020/21, and had not played a single minute of top-notch football since the opening day of the season before last weekend’s 5-0 win over Burnley. . He subsequently kept his place for City’s next game against Fulham.
Now a source has said 90min that the Stones may be offered a route out of Manchester, should Arsenal’s interest materialize. Head coach Mikel Arteta is a huge fan of the 26-year-old, and his comfortable demeanor on the ball and calmness coming out of defense certainly seems to align with the Spaniard’s footballing philosophy.
The Stones is still considered England’s best option in central defense, but so far Gareth Southgate has chosen not to call him up for any of the Three Lions’ international games this calendar year, even though he was a regular on the team that made it to the semifinal. finals of the 2018 World Cup.
His current lack of playing time, as is, would almost certainly eliminate Stones from competition for next summer’s rescheduled European Championship, something that would have seemed unthinkable early in Southgate’s reign.
Consequently, Stones is considering his options and is hopeful that City will not stand in his way should he decide to leave, while Arteta is hopeful that the Arsenal management will consider splashing him despite the club sanctioning large moves by money for Gabriel Magalhaes and William. Go out during the summer.
A source reiterated to 90min: “Arteta is a huge fan and thinks the Stones could still be one of the best defenders in Europe. The city has clearly moved on and therefore a move in 2021 seems like a realistic option. “
It remains to be seen what kind of deal City would accept after paying Everton £ 50m for their services in 2016, but it is believed that they would want a substantial portion of their investment returned despite the relatively short amount of time remaining. in your contract.
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