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Player keen to discuss move as Arsenal eye ambitious swoop for 25-year-old star

John Stones is keen to discuss a move to Arsenal as Mikel Arteta eyes an ambitious swoop to sign the Manchester City centre-back this month

John Stones Manchester-City

John Stones is keen to discuss a move to Arsenal as Mikel Arteta eyes an ambitious swoop to sign the Manchester City centre-back this month, according to The Sun.

Stones forged a reputation as one of the most exciting young defenders in British football during an impressive three-year spell at Everton which earned him a big-money move to Man City in the summer of 2016.

The 25-year-old has helped City win two Premier League titles over the past three seasons but he’s fallen down the pecking order and has struggled to hold down a regular place in Pepe Guardiola’s starting eleven.

Stones has started just nine Premier League games so far this campaign and after Aymeric Laporte suffered a serious injury at the start at the season, Guardiola opted to move Fernandinho back into defence rather than rely on Stones as a regular.

The former Barnsley graduate’s contract runs until 2022 but there is no sign of an extension being offered and with Laporte on the verge of returning from injury, Stones knows he may need to leave in order to secure more regular football ahead of Euro 2020.

He was first choice in Gareth Southgate’s team at the 2018 World Cup finals but is in danger of missing out at the Euro’s this summer due to a lack of first team football and a source has told The Sun Stones has been meeting with his agent to discuss his future.

The newspaper says Arsenal are showing an interest in signing Stones this month and the player is reportedly keen to discuss a potential move to north London – even if it’s just a short-term loan deal.

The Sun says Stones is represented by the same agency as Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and the Spanish coach obviously knows the player well from his time at City as Guardiola’s No.2.

An apparent source told The Sun:

“He [Stones] was in London to see his agent last week and is due back again this week. He knows if he is to resurrect his England career he has to get more time on the pitch.

“Arteta is in need of defenders so it could be perfect for both of them.”

Arteta needs to strengthen his defence after Calum Chambers was ruled out for up to nine months with a knee ligament injury. Shkodran Mustafi is being linked with a move away from the club while Konstantinos Mavropanos has joined Nurnberg on loan so another centre-back could be on the agenda this month.

Stones hasn’t lived up to his potential at Manchester City but he has bags of ability and he could be an excellent piece of business if Arsenal were able to get a deal agreed.

However, it’s highly unlikely City would allow Stones to leave this month unless they were able to get a replacement lined-up so I don’t expect the player to end up at Arsenal before the window closes at the end of the month.

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