Out of favour John Stones could leave Man City in the summer

English defender looks to have fallen behind 19-year-old Eric García in the pecking order

John Stones sits in the stand during Manchester City’s clash with Southampton. Photo: Robin Jones/Getty Images

John Stones sits in the stand during Manchester City’s clash with Southampton. Photo: Robin Jones/Getty Images

 

Pep Guardiola has admitted John Stones could leave Manchester City in the close season, with the manager planning to discuss the centre-back’s future with him then.

Stones, who joined in summer 2016, has endured a difficult campaign because of injury and loss of form and Guardiola said the 26-year-old’s confidence had been affected. Since football’s resumption Stones has yet to feature, though he was injured when City began again in mid-June.

Two years ago Guardiola stated that as long as he was manager Stones would be at the club. He was asked whether this remained true. “On the transfer market [and its issues] we speak at the end of the season,” he said. “[but] I’ve said many times I’m more than delighted with John as a person, as a pro, everything. What I want is the best for him. We’ll speak at the end of the season about what is going to happen.

“Sometimes my wish is not the wish of the players, or the wish of the situation for the club. At the moment [if] I will feel it, if we have to change, we’ll talk to them. He’s a young player and we want him to be consistent, to train and recover. There are players who can play every three days for 11 months, others struggle more to be fit and we try to find the key to playing every three days.”

Stones appears to have fallen behind Eric García, the 19-year-old Spaniard, though he will start when Newcastle visit on Wednesday. “He is going to play,” Guardiola said. “We cannot forget he didn’t make a pre-season [before the resumption] then after two or three training sessions injured [again] and didn’t train till last week.”

García and Aymeric Laporte impressed in central defence in City’s opening match of the restart. “I saw Eric and Aymeric Laporte do incredibly well against Arsenal [a 3-0 win] and other games and I wanted to give them more minutes. Of course, what we want for [Stones’] future and for ours is for him to come back and play and to be able to play two, three four months with no injuries.” – Guardian

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