Amid speculation that Pep Guardiola is keen on Juventus stalwart Leonardo Bonucci, it has led to question marks being raised over John Stones’ future at Man City.
The 25-year-old joined City in 2016 and has gone on to make 126 appearances for the club while winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups.
However, having been limited to just 17 appearances so far this season, despite the fact that former talismanic captain Vincent Kompany left the club last summer and Aymeric Laporte has been injured for the most part of the campaign, it had already raised concerns over Stones and his future at the Etihad.
Although capable of offering solidity in defence and composure to build out from the back, key characteristics which Guardiola has arguably looked for in his centre-halves throughout his managerial career, Stones has been plagued by injuries and has also been guilty of making costly errors.
His latest came in the League Cup final against Aston Villa earlier this month as his slip led to them getting back in the game, albeit fortunately for City, Villa didn’t complete a comeback and so they raised yet another trophy.
Nevertheless, it has led to ongoing questions about Stones, and now The Daily Star report that with Bonucci said to be a target for Guardiola this summer, the England international is potentially facing the axe to make space for the experienced stalwart.
City have conceded 31 goals in 28 league games so far this season, giving them the fifth best defensive record in the top flight.
Given they only conceded 23 goals in all of last season and that there are still 10 games to be played this year, that just shows that they have struggled in that department.
In turn, bringing someone in with the experience, quality and a winning mentality that Bonucci possesses to the club would be a hugely significant move, although it’s added that unsurprisingly Juventus aren’t keen on an exit.
Nevertheless, whether it’s Bonucci or perhaps an alternative target, Guardiola has arguably identified the need to improve his defence, and that could ultimately be bad news for Stones.