Arsenal could miss out on £20m target as Premier League rivals eye swoop

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While Arsenal have been linked with an interest in Man City defender John Stones, it’s now suggested that West Ham could beat them to his signature.

The 26-year-old joined City from Everton in 2016, and although he has gone on to make 133 appearances for the club, he hasn’t always convinced as a reliable figure at the back.

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Stones has made just 24 appearances so far this season, his lowest tally in the four years he’s been at the Etihad, and that could ultimately be a signal of a potential exit as Pep Guardiola looks to raise funds and strengthen his squad.

As per BBC Sport, they’ve had a £40m bid for Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake accepted, and so that will undoubtedly raise further doubts and question marks over Stones’ future in Manchester.

According to the Sun, while Arsenal’s interest is specifically noted, it’s now suggested that they could see the centre-half join West Ham instead and seal a reunion with former Everton boss David Moyes, while he could command a fee of around £20m.

It’s added that the Gunners need to sell before they can buy, and so it remains to be seen if the pieces fall into place for them to rival West Ham in time if Stones is indeed set to move on this summer.

Having conceded 48 goals in their 38 Premier League games this past season, which gives them the second worst defensive record of the top nine sides in the standings, there is no doubt that Arsenal can improve in that department.

Stones could arguably help them do exactly that, but it remains to be seen if Mikel Arteta and his side can convince him to make the move to the Emirates rather than to their London rivals.

As they look to end the current domestic campaign with a trophy this weekend as they face Chelsea in the FA Cup final, Arteta will undoubtedly hope to be in a position to stamp his mark on the squad this summer and bring in much-needed reinforcements to help them compete at the top level again.

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