Manchester City may have romped to a Premier League and Carabao Cup double in style, but Pep Guardiola is said to be upset with some big names in his squad and if reports are to be believed, centre-back John Stones could be heading for an exit in the summer.
Several media reports on Tuesday have linked the 23-year-old with a move away from the Etihad Stadium, with the English defender in the midst of a disappointing personal campaign.
The 6’2 Stones has made just 22 starts in all competitions this season and after Aymeric Laporte’s arrival in the January transfer window, is considered the fourth-choice central defender in the Sky Blues squad.
Stones arrived in the summer of 2016 on the back of a burgeoning reputation from fellow Premier League side Everton, but his underwhelming performances in the 2016-17 season left a lot to be desired and many felt the Citizens had paid over the odds.
While he was a regular for the most part in his debut season, he only showed flashes of his class and it looked like City’s decision to splurge close to £50 million on him had been an ill-advised one.
The current season began with Pep Guardiola backing him to come good and while initially it seemed Stones was looking comfortable in City’s system, he soon started to struggle with niggling injuries and subsequent loss of form.
Nicolas Otamendi, meanwhile, emerged as Guardiola’s go-to man this season and once Vincent Kompany was fit, the duo started to form a steely defensive partnership, leaving Stones to watch on from the sidelines.
Stones last started for City before the International break in March and hasn’t played a minute of football since then and it looks like his exit is imminent.
Despite the fact that he will demand a relatively high slaary and won’t come cheap, there aren’t a shortage of suitors for a player who turns 24 soon, with Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United among the frontrunners to land the centre-half.