Cape Town - Manchester City defender John Stones is reportedly still waiting on the club to open talks with him regarding a new contract.
His representatives were certain bosses at the Etihad would make their move earlier this summer, with the England central defender's deal set to expire in 2022.
And the early sounds were encouraging, although the word now coming out of City is that they will not be rushed into handing him new improved terms, despite his contract running down.
Stones, who arrived from Everton for £50 million in 2016, has made it clear he is happy at the club and would like nothing more than to commit his peak years to the Premier League champions.
However, the 25-year-old suffered a loss of form towards the end of last season and also split up from his long-term partner, which has not been easy for the Barnsley-born defender.
Stones recently returned from a month out with a thigh injury and his best form will certainly be needed in the coming weeks if City are to keep the pressure on leaders Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.
Boss Pep Guardiola is without star centre-back Aymeric Laporte until at least February, as he continues to recover from the knee operation he underwent in early September, while there have been injuries to other stars as well.
Stones has suffered from defensive lapses during his time at City but retains the public backing of his manager, even if the club's money men are biding their time before opening firm contract discussions.
It is understood Stones earns around £150 000-per-week at present and can likely expect an increase on that figure, certainly in light of the current inflated market for young central defenders with international pedigree.
All the same, it will still be concerning for Stones that despite his homegrown status, City are seemingly wanting to see how he performs over the next few months before engaging in concrete negotiations.
- TeamTalk Media