Newcastle United are reportedly plotting an ambitious summer swoop for Manchester City defensive stalwart John Stones.
According to GiveMeSport, Newcastle United are interested in John Stones and planning a surprise summer move for the Manchester City ace.
Newcastle made a major splash in January, signing high-profile names like Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes, while other proven Premier League names, including Chris Wood, Matt Targett, and Dan Burn, all moved to St. James’ Park and have been crucial in the club’s bid to avoid relegation.
Amid a drastic turn in fortunes, Eddie Howe’s side have now gone unbeaten in all nine games in 2022, propelling them to 14th on the table. With the Magpies looking increasingly likely to retain their Premier League status, the club hierarchy are already planning their transfer targets ahead of what looks like another very busy transfer window come summer.
The new owners will attempt to build on this improvement in the summer to compete with the Premier League’s best clubs and are aiming to hand Howe a new-look spine. Newcastle have identified Stones as a potential target and hope to negotiate a deal for the Manchester City ace.
Stones joined Manchester City in 2016 from Everton. Since then, his progress at the Etihad was a slow burner, as he endured several rough patches initially. However, the Englishman has enjoyed a renaissance and was a key part of their Premier League title-winning squad last season, forming Manchester City’s first-choice central defensive partnership alongside Ruben Dias.
To date, Stones has made 186 appearances for the Citizens, chipping in with 12 goals and two assists in the process. He has, in total, been a part of three league titles and other domestic trophies with Manchester City. However, he has struggled to break into the starting lineup as often as last term in the ongoing season, only featuring ten times in the league.
But Dias will be absent for up to six weeks due to a hamstring injury, which could provide Stones with an opportunity to have a solid run in the starting eleven and get regular minutes. But with the 2022 FIFA World Cup just around the corner, he could think about making the switch away from Manchester City in search of regular first-team football.
Newcastle United skipper Jamaal Lascelles has been disappointing this season, while veteran defenders Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark are expected to move on. At the same time, Fabian Schar is out of contract in the summer and is courting interest from foreign clubs, meaning the Magpies could be in for a major overhaul in central defence at the end of the season.
Given his experience and quality, Stones would undoubtedly improve the Magpies’ backline. He would be a statement signing, but more importantly, a great character in the dressing room on whom Howe can rely. The Englishman is also a ball-playing defender and fits the profile of defender the Newcastle boss wants, progressing the ball from the back and spraying precise passes.
The 27-year-old is under a long-term contract at the Etihad Stadium until 2026. The reigning Premier League champions will be eager to recoup their initial investment to let away their prized asset. Whether Newcastle will be able to secure the services of the Manchester City ace this summer remains to be seen.