John Stones’ future at Manchester City was thrown into doubt last night when The Sun ran an exclusive report claiming the 23-year-old was being put up for sale by Pep Guardiola this summer after falling down the pecking order.
The England international has indeed struggled to recapture his excellent form from earlier this season since returning from a month-long injury, and has been sidelined again recently by an adductor muscle problem.
With Stones appearing to be behind Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi and club-record signing Aymeric Laporte as it stands, it has naturally raised some questions about his future, and last night’s report only added to that.
However, according to the information of Sky Sports, Simon Stone of the BBC and Jonathan Smith of ESPN FC, Stones is quite happy at the Etihad Stadium and there are no plans for him to leave.
John Stones still happy @ManCity. Doesn't sound as though departure imminent.
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) April 24, 2018
According to Smith, Guardiola only wants minor changes to the squad, namely a new midfielder (Jorginho being the primary target) and forward, and it appears that there will be no overhaul in the centre of defence.
Guardiola has repeatedly insisted he still has faith in Stones and has tipped him to regain his form. And with both Kompany and Otamendi over 30, the Yorkshireman still seems to have a place in City’s long-term plans.
The Blues have recently been linked with another £50million-rated defender, Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt, with Txiki Begiristain having been to Amsterdam – but as it stands no bid has been made for the 18-year-old.
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