Pundit claims 'brilliant' Man City star is better than reported Man United target

This is bound to stir up debate in the North West.

John Stones. (Photo by Carl Recine - Pool/Getty Images)

TalkSPORT pundit Jamie O’Hara has claimed that Manchester City defender John Stones is a better player than potential Manchester United signing Raphael Varane.

Widespread reports have linked the French World Cup winner with a big money move to Old Trafford this summer, with suggestions that a deal is edging closer to completion.

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But O’Hara has made it clear that he would rather have England international Stones at the heart of defence, and even went as far as to compare him former United legend Rio Ferdinand.

Raphael Varane. (Photo by MARKO DJURICA / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MARKO DJURICA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “I love John Stones, I’ve always liked him. He’s a brilliant football player.

“He’s the closest thing we’ve had to Rio Ferdinand, who along with John Terry, was the best centre-half in the Premier League.

“I love watching John Stones, I enjoy watching the way he plays. He’s calm, he’s composed but also a brilliant defender.

“Last season you had Ruben Dias alongside him which turned him into an even better defender because he had someone with him.

“I think with Varane, he’s going to have that with Maguire but in my opinion I’d rather have John Stones in my team.

“If Varane’s that good, why is he leaving Real Madrid at 28 years old? Why not give him a new deal? If they thought he was that brilliant they wouldn’t be letting him leave. Manchester City aren’t letting John Stones leave…”

Varane has been at Real Madrid since joining from RC Lens a decade ago.