Rio Ferdinand has urged John Stones to leave Manchester City to resurrect his career.

The English centre-back has only started twice for Pep Guardiola since the season restarted in June.

Eric Garcia and Aymeric Laporte have often been Guardiola's preferred pairing, with Fernandinho and Nicolas Otmanedi also ahead of him in the pecking order.

Whilst Garcia could leave the club after rejecting a new contract, Nathan Ake's arrival from Bournemouth for £41million could leave Stones as City's sixth-choice defender.

MEN Sport understands that Kalidou Koulibaly remains their prime target this summer, further pushing Stones down the ranks.

With England boss Gareth Southgate constantly reiterating his belief that players must be playing regularly for their clubs, Ferdinand has said Stones must leave Manchester City this summer if he's to reignite his England career.

"If I'm him, I am thinking 'wow'," Ferdinand said. "You've got (Nicolas) Otamendi coming in front of him and even (Eric) Garcia, who is not committed to the club.

"Stones has gone from being England first-choice centre-half to wondering whether he is even going to get in the squad now because he is not playing for his club.

"He really has to look at himself and his situation closely. With the Euros coming up next year, he has to make a big decision.

"In fact, I don't even think it's a big decision to leave - it's just the right decision. If he wants to be a top centre-half and play for England again, he can't stay at City."

When asked where Stones should move this summer, with West Ham linked, Ferdinand said: "(David) Moyes knows him. It would be a massive drop in expectation from a club point of view but needs must sometimes.

"Where's he going to go get a game? That's what he needs to think about. He needs to play football. He's not played consistent football consecutively for how long now?

"I stood up for him. I rang in a radio show about him ages ago because I really did believe in him. I said at the time that he has huge potential.

"His problem has been that he's continually made the same mistakes and they haven't been eradicated out of his game. That's an issue."