According to an exclusive report from the Telegraph, manager Rafael Benitez is eyeing a second coming at Newcastle and has firmly set his sights on Man City centre-back John Stones as a potential recruit – with manager Pep Guardiola potentially facing a challenge on the horizon to keep him.
Stones, who has started just 10 league games all season for the Sky Blues, hasn’t exactly measured up this campaign in terms of form – so far struggling to establish himself as one of Guardiola’s first choice defenders behind the likes of Nicolas Otamendi, Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte when he is fully fit.
Should City sell Stones to Newcastle?
Yes, take the money
No, he still has a bright future
However, the Englishman has proved in recent seasons that he can shine at the top level, forming a noteworthy partnership with Laporte over City’s domestic quadruple-winning campaign and famously clearing a Mohamed Salah attempt off the goal line.
Guardiola, back at the beginning of our Centurions year, also claimed Stones will grow into an ‘exceptional‘ defender – with the Spaniard clearly rating his ability.
Even though 2019/2020 hasn’t been one to remember for the 25-year-old, potential could still be there, but now Benitez’ alleged interest – should he return to Newcastle – poses a would-be threat to Stones’ City career.
The defender has averaged an impressive 94% pass accuracy in the short time he has played, as per WhoScored, more than any other City player this season.
Whether or not Newcastle do swoop for Stones remains to be seen, but if Benitez does want to land the England international, City could face a challenge given his currently limited game time and the potential temptation of a fresh start.