The Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern have been concerned by recent reports linking John Stones with a move away from the Etihad Stadium after a vastly improved campaign under Pep Guardiola.
John Stones began the season in fine form for the Citizens until a hamstring injury served to disrupt his second season with the club. Prior to collecting his injury against Leicester City in November, Stones was performing exceptionally well and appeared to have taken a significant step forward in his development.
However, he has only made 4 Premier League appearances since he obtained the muscle injury, and the recent signing of Aymeric Laporte has served to intensify competition for places in the first-team. His lack of involvement of late has been the result of a problem with his abductor muscle, but that has not prevented the media from speculating about his future.
According to The Sun, Real Madrid are lining up a move for Stones this summer as well as Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling. Although it’s unlikely that Stones will want to depart the Etihad after just two years with the club, Guardiola must at least have a back-up plan to implement in case he departs.
City will undoubtedly need to replace Stones if Los Blancos are successful in their pursuit, and one man who Guardiola would be foolish not to target is Toby Alderweireld (valued at £36 million by Transfermarkt) of Tottenham Hotspur. According to The Daily Mail, Spurs are willing to entertain offers for his services this summer in order to generate funds for new acquisitions.
Alderweireld’s future has been called into question this season due to his lack of involvement since he returned from injury. Rumours emerging regarding Tottenham’s refusal to meet his wage demands also suggest that the Belgium international will depart the club this summer, and if he becomes available City would be foolish not to bring him to the Etihad.
Alderweireld has consistently proven that he is one of the best central defenders in the Premier League due to both his defensive quality and his composure in possession of the ball. His style is well-aligned with what Guardiola expects from each and every one of his players, so City should monitor his situation in North-London and make a bid for his services in the event of Stones’ departure.
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