Chelsea manager Frank Lampard urged to complete ‘fantastic signing’ from Man City

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Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has been urged to complete a deal for Manchester City defender John Stones. The England international looks set to leave the Etihad Stadium after a nightmare campaign while the Blues are likely to strengthen at the back in this summer’s transfer window.

Chelsea finished the Premier League campaign with the worst defensive record in the top half of the table, despite qualifying for next season’s Champions League by finishing fourth.

The Blues have been busy further strengthening their attacking ranks by adding playmaker Hakim Ziyech and forward Timo Werner to their squad, while Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder Kai Havertz is in their sights.

A central defender is also on the wish list, although West Ham utility man Declan Rice appears to be Lampard’s preferred target.

But former Premier League midfielder Michael Brown believes City outcast Stones is the man Lampard should be looking at.

“The answer would be for me, if Chelsea can get John Stones then it would be a fantastic signing for them,” Brown told Football Insider.

“Ultimately he’s a Manchester City player and I still think he has a big role at City.

“I think if he gets himself right, he’s a great talent, a great character and on the ball there is nobody better than John Stones.”

Chelsea news: Frank Lampard urged to complete 'fantastic signing' from Man City

The departure of Vincent Kompany last summer and Aymeric Laporte’s long-term injury should have opened the door for Stones to establish himself as Pep Guardiola’s main man at the back but he was limited to 24 appearances in all competitions this season, with the likes of veteran midfielder Fernandinho and rising star Eric Garcia preferred at times.

Guardiola will look at signing a new central defender before the window slams shut in October so a departure could be the best chance for Stones to get his career back on track.

The 26-year-old has two years remaining on his contract, which could lead to Etihad Stadium boss deciding it is the appropriate time to cash in.

Arsenal are monitoring Stones but Gunners hero Paul Merson agrees with Brown’s assessment that the former Everton ace would be ideal for Chelsea.

“I’d go and get John Stones for that, and play him in the middle of the three. Then I’d say have Antonio Rudiger and Christensen either side of them,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“Chelsea love to play out the back, they roll it out every time, so you need someone unbelievably good on the ball.

“If you have pace around them, I think it will help Chelsea; I think Stones would be a great buy, and he has to play in a three.

“Stones has the potential to be great, he really has, but he needs the confidence.

“At the moment Chelsea have three centre-halves that aren’t in the same class as Stones on the ball.”

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