Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that John Stones could play as a holding midfielder if the club fail to recruit a new signing, reports The Independent.
The reigning Premier League champions have been relatively quiet in the transfer window having recruited just one new face in the form of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City.
It has been clear that Guardiola is keen to bring in a defensive midfielder that can share the workload with Fernandinho.
However, their pursuit of Jorginho came to nothing as he signed for Chelsea instead, and now there are just three days left to go until the transfer window slams shut.
After City impressed against Chelsea in a 2-0 victory in the Community Shield on Sunday, Guardiola revealed at Wembley that centre-back Stones may be forced to change positions.
The Independent quotes the ex-Barcelona boss as saying:
“I would like to sign maybe one more, because we don’t have specific players to substitute Fernandinho. If no other player arrives, I have to find a solution. Maybe [Stones] can play there. But if [that buy] does not come, we won’t sign anyone.”
Stones – valued at £49.5m by Transfermarkt – has had an inconsistent spell at City since his switch from Everton.
Last season, the England international dropped down the pecking order at centre-back following the arrival of Aymeric Laporte.
If Guardiola fails to land a target, then Stones could be given a new challenge deep in midfield.
The ball-playing defender has the qualities to adapt to that role, and he will be heading into the season full of confidence following his positive performances at the World Cup.
It is a risk for Guardiola to use Stones in this manner, but the successful coach managed to turn Nicolas Otamendi into a decent centre-back, so perhaps the Spaniard can work his magic again.
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