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West Ham risk unsettling David Moyes’ plans with Man City’s John Stones

West Ham United risk unsettling David Moyes’ plans with the capture of two-time Premier League winner John Stones amid rumoured interest in the Manchester City defender.

What’s the word?

According to the Daily Mail, West Ham and Everton have emerged as the two most likely destinations for Stones to join as the window nears its climax should he depart Pep Guardiola’s Sky Blues.

The 26-year-old had been touted as a potential target for London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea earlier in the summer, but interest has calmed at the Emirates and Stamford Bridge following the respective arrivals of Brazilian duo Gabriel Magalhaes and Thiago Silva.

Stones began to lose Guardiola’s trust last season when the Catalan coach reduced his game time to 25 appearances across all competitions, but vowed to stay and fight for his place at the Etihad Stadium despite the £41million arrival of Nathan Ake and greater inclusion of academy graduate Eric Garcia.

Would Stones be an improvment on West Ham's current CBs?

Yes, he'd be perfect

Yes, he'd be perfect

No, he isn't good enough

No, he isn't good enough

Man City have been open to cashing-in on Stones all summer with reports in August claiming the 2018/19 Premier League champions had offered his services to Chelsea for just £20m, less than half the £47.5m paid to Everton in 2016.

With reports of a £25million bid and a £150,000-per-week contract lined up for Olympique de Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car, it remains to be seen if West Ham turn their attentions to Stones’ situation approaching Monday night’s deadline.

Shaky foundations for a brighter future

Signing Stones could be the perfect decision for West Ham, as he would bring years of top-tier experience to east London having helped Manchester City win two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, three EFL Cups and the Community Shield while representing England on 39 occasions.

However, his acquisition could also see the Hammers add shaky foundations to the plans Moyes is attempting to put in place, as Stones’ performances were the reason why he fell out of favour with Guardiola and has only featured twice for the Three Lions since 2018.

Stones’ sole appearance for the Citizens of the new season heading into this weekend came in a 3-1 win on the opening day away to Wolverhampton Wanderers, before Guardiola opted against naming the 26-year-old in any of his subsequent matchday plans.

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The former Everton ace was not appalling at Molineux by any measure, having played a crucial role in City’s build-up play during the first-half, but Stones was partly at fault for Raul Jimenez’s goal in the 78th-minute as his slack awareness came as a gift to Daniel Podence.

Nevertheless, a player once signed for £47.5m and with a trophy cabinet of his, Stones would demand to be a starter week-in, week-out in east London providing he’s fit, but his overall consistency would be a concern for Moyes.

Over just 16 Premier League appearances in the 2019/20 campaign, Stones started 12 and would end the season with an average of 70 minutes per game to his name, in which he managed only the 1.0 tackles, 0.6 interceptions and 1.4 ground duels won, per SofaScore.

If Moyes is able to land his new centre-half elsewhere, then West Ham must explore that option and only return to Manchester to consider Stones as a last resort come Monday.

AND in other news, West Ham have been dealt a setback in the club’s efforts to land the missing spark of David Moyes’ midfield.