Report: Arteta ‘huge fan’ of Manchester City player, 2021 move to Arsenal ‘realistic option’

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The Gunners look set to do business in January as they aim to rescue yet another Premier League season, following an extremely difficult start to the season domestically.

Whilst midfield and attacking solutions must be high on the agenda, it seems the club also have eyes on more defensive recruits, as Mikel Arteta eyes a major rebuild at the club. Arsenal have been asked to be kept in the loop about Manchester City defender John Stones availability, according to 90min.

Stones has started to feature in Manchester City’s first team recently, after frequently being left out of the squad by boss Pep Guardiola. But how frequently will Stones feature in the team when Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake are fit? The 26-year-old will be desperate to play week in week out with the Euros coming up this summer and the World Cup the year after.

A source told 90min: “Arteta is a huge fan, and thinks Stones could still be one of the best defenders in Europe. City have clearly moved on and so a move in 2021 looks a realistic option.”

Whilst Arsenal are currently extremely crowded in central defence, The Athletic recently reported that the Gunners do want to sign a right sided central defender, to play alongside Gabriel Magalhaes.

The Gunners are set to lose Sokratis, David Luiz and Skhodran Mustafi when their contracts expire this summer. The futures of Rob Holding and Calum Chambers are up for debate, with neither player arguably good enough to be playing regularly for the club. That leaves William Saliba as the only right sided option, with Mikel Arteta yet to trust the Frenchman with first team football.

On the left side, Arsenal appear comfortable. Gabriel has made an excellent start to life in London and the returning Pablo Mari offers depth in that position. Kieran Tierney is also capable of playing there, as we saw when the Gunners deployed a back five.

Arteta knows Stones well as the defender was a regular during Mikel’s time at Manchester City. Stones is just 26-years-old, many of Arsenal’s current crop of defenders are over 30 or under 23, so his age profile would be good for the squad. Stones Premier League experience and ability to play out from the back is obviously an appealing factor for Arteta for a squad that is set to lose David Luiz.

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