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John Stones: Manchester City defender signs new five-year contract to complete career turnaround

Stones’ previous deal was set to expire at end of the season

Manchester City defender John Stones

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<p>Manchester City defender John Stones</p>
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<p>Manchester City defender John Stones</p>
<p> (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)</p>
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John Stones has signed a new five-year contract with Manchester City, completing a remarkable turnaround for his Etihad career.

The 27-year-old’s previous City contract was set to expire at the end of the season.

Yet after playing a key part in City’s Premier League title-winning 2020-21 campaign, Stones has committed himself to the club until 2026.

“I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “I love being part of this squad. There are so many quality players here and I know we can continue winning trophies, which is my main focus.

“Working with the manager is a dream – he has taught me so much about the game and I feel like I learn something new every single day.

“The success we’ve had in the last four years has been incredible. To be a part of it has been a dream come true and I just want to continue winning.

“This is the best place for me to play my football and fulfil my ambitions.”

Stones’ City future appeared uncertain last summer, after he lost his regular starting place status and fell down Pep Guardiola’s pecking order.

The England international gradually played his way back into his manager’s thoughts last season though, eventually replacing Aymeric Laporte in the heart of City’s defence and forming a partnership with new signing Ruben Dias.

Both Stones and Dias were named in the PFA’s team of the year as City finished with the strongest defence in the Premier League, conceding just 32 times all season.

“John is an exceptional footballer and a fantastic defender, whose attributes are well suited to our style of play,” said Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of football.

“We knew when we signed him that we were getting a talented centre-back, but he has really matured in his five years here and, as we saw last season, is at the top of his game right now.

“John has been an important part of our recent success and we believe he can continue to help us achieve our goals, so for him to commit his best years to us is a major boost for the club.”

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