Mikel Arteta wants Arsenal to complete signing of £54m central defender

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is reportedly plotting a surprise approach to sign defender John Stones from his former employers Manchester City.

Stones has hardly featured for the Cityzens in the Premier League in recent months and his start against Aston Villa last weekend was his first league appearance in more than four weeks.

As such, the centre-back is genuinely fearful about missing out on the Euro 2020 squad with England and The Sun claims that he may want a fresh challenge to enhance his gametime in the second half of the season.

The same outlet suggests that Stones and Arteta are represented by the same agency and the Gunners boss is keen on landing the former Everton man even if on a temporary basis for the campaign.

Despite the speculation, it would come as a huge surprise, if the Cityzens are willing to permit Stones’ departure, given they are currently short of options in the central defence.

The summer exit of Vincent Kompany and the long-term injury to Aymeric Laporte has left them short of senior options at the heart of the defence and Stones is regarded as the preferable back-up to Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho.

The purchase of another centre-back by the Mancunian giants could change the position of Stones but it is still unclear whether the Cityzens will want to directly boost a Premier League rival, who had lured Arteta from their ranks for the head coach position last month.

Stones, who is valued in the region of £54m, according to Transfermarkt, has just over two years remaining on his contract with the Cityzens. He had made just nine league starts for the club this season.

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