Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has clarified that the club hold no interest in signing John Stones from Manchester City during the ongoing transfer window.
A recent report from The Sun claimed that Stones could make a surprise loan move to the north London side this month with Arteta prepared to provide him with the guarantee of regular gametime, which would also enhance his England selection prospects for Euro 2020.
The Manchester Evening News has since dismissed the prospect of the deal happening with the Cityzens not keen on the player’s exit, and when asked about the speculation, Arteta has now stated that the Gunners hold no interest in signing the former Barnsley graduate.
“John is a player that I really like and I followed. We signed him when I was at Manchester City and I worked with him for many years and know him well. When I look at centre backs he has many attributes that I like from one, but we’re not interested,” the Gunners boss told.
Arsenal are looking at the option of recruiting a new centre-back after the season-ending injury for Calum Chambers has left Arteta with limited options to work with at the heart of the defence.
The Gunners recently permitted the loan departure of Konstantinos Mavropanos to Nuremberg and this has left them with just four senior central defensive choices in David Luiz, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi.
Mustafi’s future remains uncertain with Arteta deciding against picking him in the squad for the past three games in all competitions and it has been reported that he could make the switch to Istanbul with Turkish champions Galatasaray this month.
Arteta has clearly stated that the club are not close to making any signing at the moment, but hopefully they can land a new central defender in the coming weeks or else, they could find themselves in a situation where a couple of injuries may result in Granit Xhaka playing as the emergency centre-back.