John Stones to Arsenal as Manchester City respond to deal

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Manchester City will not entertain any bids from Arsenal for England international John Stones and have no intention of losing the defender. The 25-year-old joined City from Everton for £50m in 2016 and he’s won two Premier League titles since moving to the Etihad.

Vincent Kompany’s departure last summer, combined with the long-term absence of Aymeric Laporte through injury, was an opportunity for Stones to cement himself as the cornerstone of City’s defence but he’s experienced a below-par campaign. Stones has featured in just ten of City’s league matches this season and is understandably concerned about his spot in England’s Euro 2020 squad.

Reports over the weekend claimed that Arsenal have expressed an interest in Stones and would be willing to sign the defender – either permanently or on loan – in the January window. However, understands City have no intention of selling Stones and will not allow him to leave on loan. Stones shares an agent with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and the Spaniard worked closely with the defender on his game during his three-and-a-half years at the Etihad. Arsenal are keen on signing a defender this month after Calum Chambers was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a cruciate injury.

But Pep Guardiola remains keen on keeping Stones, despite the club’s plans on signing a centre-back this summer. Guardiola was angered by City’s failure to sign Harry Maguire and will look to rectify that mistake at the end of the season by securing a partner for Aymeric Laporte. Stones has two-and-a-half-years to run on his deal and the club are in no rush to hand him an extension, despite doing so for the likes of Ederson, Bernardo Silva and Laporte. However, Nicolas Otamendi is likely to leave at the end of the season and Stones will be expected to provide competition for Laporte and an incoming centre-back next term.

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