Chelsea have turned their attention to a shock move for Man City star John Stones, Football Insider can reveal.
The west Londoners are in the market for a new senior centre-back this summer as Frank Lampard looks to address his team’s defensive frailties.
A Chelsea source has told Football Insider that Stones’ name has been discussed internally by the club’s recruitment team and he is on their list of targets.
They believe the 26-year-old needs a move to revive his career after a wretched season in which he’s slipped down the pecking order at City.
Stones also has the composure and ball-playing ability to fit into Lampard’s playing style and has experience of playing in a three-man defence for England.
The 39-times cap has two years left on his City contract and the upcoming window represents the last major chance to recoup much of the £47.5million fee paid in 2016 to Everton.
That made him then the second-most expensive defender signing in history.
However, it’s unlikely City would get anywhere near to £50m this summer for a player who is not a regular in their side despite his pedigree and top-level experience.
Stones has been a fringe figure all season, despite the loss of Vincent Kompany last summer and the club not replacing him.
The centre-back has started just two matches for City since the restart and has made just 12 league starts among 24 appearances in all competitions this season.
There is also likely to be strong interest from other top-level Premier League clubs, with the likes of Arsenal and Newcastle United possible contenders for his signature.
In other Chelsea news, it can be REVEALED there has been a new twist in forward talks as deal faces collapse.
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