Manchester City’s John Stones will not be joining Arsenal this month, with the Premier League champions ruling out the possibility of the defender leaving the club.
The England international has been linked with a potential move to the Gunners during the January transfer window, having endured a frustrating period at Man City this season, making just nine league starts so far.
Stones’ lack of minutes has led to concerns over his place in the England side ahead of next summer’s European Championships, the 25-year-old reportedly open a move away from the Etihad in search of regular first-team football.
Arsenal are believed to have expressed an interest in the former Everton defender as they look to bolster their defensive options this month, the club’s new boss Mikel Arteta having struck up a good relationship with the centre-back during his previous three-year spell on the coaching staff at City.
However, despite Aymeric Laporte’s impending return from a lengthy injury lay-off, City are still understandably reluctant to lose Stones and according to the Manchester Evening News have ruled out the possibility of an exit.
Having failed to replace departing captain Vincent Kompany last summer, Laporte’s spell on the sidelines left Pep Guardiola’s side short of defensive depth throughout the first half of the season, midfielder Fernandinho having filled in as an unorthodox central defender.
With their stocks soon to be replenished City see no sense in allowing another centre-back option to leave the club, and Stones now faces an important second half of the campaign as he bids to earn his place with the national side next summer.