Manchester City have no intention of entertaining Arsenal’s interest in defender John Stones and will offer the England international a new deal to stay at the Etihad.
Stones’ current deal expires in 2022 and Arteta has always been an admirer of the former Everton centre-back, who he worked with for three years before moving to the Emirates.
Arteta wants both of his centre-backs to be comfortable in possession and to be able to bring the ball out of defence, which he feels he’s found in Gabriel since the defender joined from Lille in a £22million deal.
The Spaniard had been keen to pair Gabriel with a right-sided centre-back and he has long admired Stones’ ability to take responsibility in building from the back.
With Stones’ deal running down, Arsenal had hoped to complete a loan deal for the defender in January before exploring a permanent deal this summer.
However, despite previous question marks over Stones’ application, Pep Guardiola remains a firm admirer of the defender and sources have told Metro.co.uk that he’ll block any attempts from the Gunners to sign the centre-back.
Stones’ time at the club looked increasingly precarious following the arrivals of Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias last summer but the former Barnsley ace has fought hard to become a regular starter again and has kept Aymeric Laporte out of the starting XI in recent weeks.
Guardiola hopes that Stones has finally put his injury problems behind him, which has helped him to rediscover his best form in the heart of City’s defence so far this term.
That has encouraged City’s heriachy that Stones has a long-term future at the Etihad and they’re now willing to offer the defender a new deal to stay at the club.
Stones earns around £135,000-a-week at the club and it’s understood fresh terms wouldn’t represent too much of an increase, with the defender happy to pen a new deal.
The Gunners have recently been linked with Stones’ team-mate, Eric Garicia, as the Spaniard is entering the final six months on his deal at the club.
Barcelona were keen on signing the centre-back last summer after Garcia confirmed his intention to run down his deal at the Etihad.
Despite reported interest from Arsenal, Metro.co.uk understands it remains Garcia’s intention to move to the Camp Nou and he’s free to sign a pre-contract agreement with the Catalans from January 1st.
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