Allardyce seeks Guardiola talks

New England boss Sam Allardyce is keen to set up a meeting with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola to discuss the futures of Joe Hart and John Stones.

Guardiola's decision to bench Hart for the first two matches of the new Premier League season has Allardyce worried about the player's long-term future.

And, with the impending arrival of Barcelona's Claudio Bravo, there doesn't appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Citizens' long-serving stopper.

"Absolutely – eventually, in the end, [playing regularly] is critical for a player," Allardyce told reporters.

"If it's a short period of time, maybe not. Then they come back in the team and everything's goes fine.

"If it goes for a longer period of time then I think it's difficult then to select them, based on how they feel, never mind from a training point of view – can they go and play at that level having not played for their own team for a considerable amount of time? So it is a concern.

"I'll go and speak to them about that – Pep and Joe – sooner or later. Certainly when Joe joins us because he'll be in the squad.

"If I can get the chance to go and see Pep I'd like to listen to him anyway."

Big Sam also had his say on another England player under Pep's care, promising young defender John Stones.

"Potential is something that's going to be great in the future," he said. "I want it right now – and I think he's got a great chance of becoming that right now.

"With all due respect to Everton, working with Manchester City is the level he has to get to because you don't realise [Guardiola] does focus quite a lot on defending," he added.

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