Manchester City happy to bide their time with Stones
Manchester City are to take their time before handing John Stones a new long-term contract despite him making it clear he wants to stay at the Etihad.
The England central-defender was encouraged by reports his club were set to reward him with new terms worth around £150,000-per-week, boxing off his peak years.
Stones still has over two years remaining on his present agreement, believed to be worth £120,000-per-week, with sources close to the player insisting he is happy remaining a Citizen.
However, City insiders hint the 25-year-old will have to bide his time before concrete talks are pencilled in.
Stones was signed from Everton for £47.5m in 2016 and he has since won two Premier League titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup, certainly justifying the decision to quit Goodison Park.
There is no question that when Stones is free of injury and on his game, boss Pep Guardiola views him as one of the few defenders in Europe.
Guardiola enables him to play the type of football he demands from all of his teams, a calmed assurance to play out from the back and between the lines.
There have been times, though, when that type of high-risk, high-reward strategy, has seen Stones forced into some costly errors, highlighted further by the fact City do dominate the majority of possession against their opponents.
During last season’s successful title run-in, Guardiola favoured the experience of veteran skipper Vincent Kompany to play alongside Aymeric Laporte at the heart of his defence.
Stones picked up a thigh injury at the start of this campaign, but he is set to return to action this weekend when the champions travel to Norwich City.
Kompany quit during the summer to become player-manager at Anderlecht, while Laporte is out until after Christmas following a recent knee operation.
That now presents Stones with the perfect platform to now remind City of his overall worth and accelerate a new deal.
Tom Hill offers a strong insight into football and rugby league, whilst also having a good knowledge of several other sports including boxing, horse racing and American Football.