John Stones’ Manchester City Situation
Stones will have just 18 months left on his contract come January and has fallen drastically out of favour at the Etihad Stadium, with Pep Guardiola splashing out over £100m in the last window alone on central defenders.
The 25-year-old cost a cool £47.5m when he joined from Everton in 2016 but has only started 14 Premier League matches since the beginning of the 2019/20 campaign.
A string of high-profile errors – some truly comical – have seen his stock deteriorate rapidly within City sectors. Most telling of all is that Gareth Southgate has long-since stopped selecting him for the England national side – the one person who seemed to have faith in him despite his unfortunate knack of not being very good.
Regarding a fee, he wouldn’t come cheap. Even if it were at a cut-price deal taking into account his recent track record and the length of time remaining on his contract, City won’t want to be too out of pocket after their initial outlay.
Perhaps Arteta is hoping for mates’ rates by dropping a line to his old mentor to see if he can smooth talk his way to a cheaper deal? What’s Spanish for ‘haggle’?