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Manchester City ready to open contract talks with 29-year-old defender – Player keen to stay



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Officials at the Etihad Stadium are reportedly ready to open conversations with mainstay central defensive option John Stones over a new contract.

The England international has been at the heart of Manchester City’s excellent work this season, but has largely revolutionised the way Pep Guardiola has been able to set-up his sides in recent seasons, most notably last campaign.

Stones’ role as a deep-lying defensive midfield player alongside Rodrigo changed the way City were able to build attacks, but also ensure that oppositions could not breach their defensive formations too.

The former Everton man has been utilised at centre-back, right-back, and midfield during the last two seasons, and his importance to Manchester City’s squad has been highlighted most during his absences, when Guardiola’s players have arguably not looked as fluid.

That importance to the Manchester City set-up is likely to be highlighted and rewarded through fresh contractual negotiations between all parties in the coming weeks and months, according to a new report.

That is as per the information of HITC, who report that City are now ‘ready to begin talks’ with John Stones over a new contract at the Etihad Stadium, with the player himself also ‘keen’ to extend his stay given his current agreement has just over two years left to run.

Such is the admiration from within the club over Stones and his talents, manager Pep Guardiola has also reportedly ‘made it clear’ to Manchester City’s hierarchy that the England international’s deal should be extended.

Stones has struggled with a number of muscular problems this season but will be hoping to mount a strong run of form for the club during the business end of the season, with Manchester City continuing to compete on four fronts.

The 29-year-old has featured on just 21 occassions for the Treble winners this season due to his injury problems, but has managed to put together a run of games as of late that will certainly give both himself and Pep Guardiola confidence over the remainder of the season.

Elsewhere, Manchester City will likely seek talks with back-up goalkeeper Stefan Ortega in the coming weeks and months, as the German shot-stopper attracts widespread interest in his signature following stellar performances when called upon at the Etihad.