Harry Redknapp says he advised former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard to sign John Stones last summer.
The England international is enjoying an excellent season at Manchester City, who are seven points clear of the chasing pack in the Premier League title race.
However, Stones’ days at the Eithad Stadium seemed to be numbered at the end of last term.
The former Everton man slipped down the centre-back pecking order in 2019/20, with Pep Guardiola often preferring to deploy Fernandinho - a midfielder by trade - in the heart of the defence.
Stones was linked with a move to Arsenal last summer but nothing came of the Gunners’ reported interest.
And Redknapp says he mentioned Stones to Lampard, his nephew, as a potential transfer target for Chelsea.
“I text Frank at the start of the year but they’d already made a signing at Chelsea. I said, ‘What about him, John Stones?’ But he’d already made a signing at Chelsea.
“I think he is a real talent. Someone just had to get hold of him again and get him playing and believing in himself.
“And he’s come back now and he looks the best centre-half around. He’s in fantastic form.”
Stones started his 14th Premier League game of the season as Guardiola’s side beat Tottenham 3-0 on Saturday.
City could move further clear of second spot if they beat Everton in a rearranged fixture on Wednesday.
The Premier League leaders are competing on four fronts this term, with City through to the League Cup final, the FA Cup quarter-finals and the last 16 of the Champions League.
Guardiola’s men will face Borussia Monchengladbach in Europe’s premier competition, with the first leg scheduled for February 24.
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