John Stones to Arsenal could still be on with Pep Guardiola looking for a new defender
Arsenal could land John Stones next summer despite their failed pursuit of the England man in the last transfer window.
Mikel Arteta explored the possibility of taking on the England centre half on-loan for the rest of the season, but Pep Guardiola made it clear that he wasn’t for sale and they would not allow him to leave on-loan either.
The 25-year-old has played just 11 times for City this season with a combination of bad form and injury hampering his progress.
He has been dropped from the squad in the last two games with speculation rife that he might be off in the summer.
Express Sports claims that Guardiola has shortlisted four new defenders that he is keen to partner Aymeric Laporte next season.
Laporte has been Manchester City’s most consistent defender since he moved to the Etihad. But he suffered an injury early this season and has missed much of the campaign.
Should City sign a new centre back in the summer, either one of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi will be sold.
ESPN pundit Steve Nicol, as quoted in the same report, reckons that Otamendi could be sold off before Stones.
He said: “Should he go? Probably, with the way he’s performed when he’s played. He hasn’t been anywhere near his best.
“The problem for City is you can’t get rid of everybody.
“At the end of the day you need bodies to cover for injuries and suspensions.
Really it’s a case of who goes and who stays.
“John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi, I would imagine Otamendi goes.
“Stones still has the ability to come back somewhat.
“Between those two, I’d say they’ll keep John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi has to go.”
Despite what Nicol is saying it is hard to see how Stones has a future at the Etihad. Guardiola still prefers Otamendi and once Guardiola turns against a player his days are numbered. That appears to be the case with the England defender.