EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea target to start England showdown against France as Manchester United pair axed
By Chelsea correspondent Tony Hughes
John Stones will start England’s clash against France next Tuesday, Football Insider sources understand.
The Everton defender is set to line up in the centre-back position alongside Chelsea’s Gary Cahill.
The duo will replace Manchester United pair Chris Smalling and Phil Jones in the starting X1 as Roy Hodgson tweaks his team for the second of England’s two friendlies during the international break.
Stones, 21, has made six international appearances but has yet to nail down a regular place in Hodgson’s side despite a string of performances that have made Europe’s elite take notice.
Chelsea will make another attempt to prise the defender from Everton in the January transfer window after having three bids rejected for him during the summer.
Meanwhile, Gerard Pique, who was in the Spain team that played England in tonight’s friendly in Alicante, has named Chelsea target Stones in his world X1.
The Spain World Cup winner selects the Merseysider along with six Spaniard, Paul Pogba and famed Barcelona attacking trident Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.