Manchester City are planning to delay contract talks with John Stones until the summer despite the centre-back attracting attention from Arsenal, according to a report from the Sunday Mirror (14/2; page 73).
Stones has been a revelation for the Premier League leaders this term. The 26-year-old is arguably playing the best football of his career to date right now.
His form has perhaps come as a surprise to City, with the Sunday Mirror noting that he is now into the final 18 months of his contract at the Etihad Stadium.
The report does suggest that initial talks over an extension have been held. However, it appears that fans should not expect an announcement anytime soon.
According to the Sunday Mirror (14/2; page 73), City have decided to wait until the summer to finalise a new contract. That is despite Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta apparently being a huge admirer of the centre-back.
The report adds that City are confident that Stones wants to stay. It is suggested that they do not want to distract him from matters on the field.
TBR View: Arsenal will surely have already written off Stones deal hopes
In truth, it seems unlikely that the Gunners will still be holding out hope of signing Stones at some stage in the future.
His form has been outstanding for a little while. And it would be a huge surprise if the England international – who earns £100,000-a-week, according to Spotrac – had any interest in leaving.
So Arsenal are unlikely to take any encouragement from Pep Guardiola’s men delaying talks for the next few months – even if they decide to just keep one eye on how events play out.