Kolkata, April 25: Manchester City are willing to part ways with their English defender John Stones in the summer.
The England international has fallen down from Pep Guardiola’s pecking order, with the January arrival of Aymeric Laporte making him the fourth choice centre-back at Guardiola's disposal.
Even though Guardiola has always publicly talked up Stones, it is believed the Catalan would reluctantly allow the player to leave for the good of his own career.
Stones had been widely praised for his development under Guardiola but the City boss now wants to sign another centre-half this summer to compete with injury-prone skipper Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi and Aymeric Laporte.
It is reported that the former Barcelona and Bayern manager is not content with Stones' developement and is ready to offload him.
However, it is also being reported that the Man City board are eager not to lose Stones who was a huge investment by the club and is also a homegrown talent.
However, as Stones approaches his 24th birthday next month, it is understood that Guardiola does not feel he has improved sufficiently to make him a first-team regular.
With the Cityzens insisting on recouping most of the £47.5million they laid out to sign him from Everton two years ago, and Stones earning £100,000 per week, very few clubs would be able to afford him.
Arsenal are in the hunt for a centre-back and could be interested in the Englishman once Arsene Wenger’s successor is named.
And Liverpool, who have money to burn after the £145m January sale of Philippe Coutinho, may also be keen as they also need a central defender.
City, despite winning the League title comfortably this season, are in the market to add a new central defender and a new central midfielder.
Guardiola also wants more depth in his squad and has the financial backing of the owners once again.
Stones has not started a Premier League match since January, although City say he has been out with an adductor muscle injury for the past few weeks.
However, England boss Gareth Southgate is a huge fan of Stones and will start him at the World Cup despite his lack of football at club level.