New Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is looking increasingly likely to break the £50m barrier for his next signing, according to a report today.
BBC reporter Richard Askam has claimed that Everton defender John Stones has made his mind up about his next destination – and he wants to link up with Guardiola at Man City.
— richard askam (@richaskam) July 5, 2016
The deal is still some way from completion, with a fee yet to be agreed between the two clubs. Everton value the 22 year old at £50m and it may take a bid near that figure to tempt the club into selling.
Guardiola has already added internationals Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito and Oleksandr Zinchenko to his ranks but wants to completely transform a squad that limped to fourth place in the Premier League last season.
Chelsea had a number of bids rejected last season – the highest one being for over £35m – and the Toffees will believe that another season worth of Premier League experience has only added to his value.
In addition, the recent investment from majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, as well as the massive new television rights windfall given to Premier League clubs, has meant that they are under far less pressure to sell.
That being said, having fought so hard to keep him last year, even rejecting a transfer request at one stage, they may decide to sell the player with minimal fuss; he was the height of professionalism when his move was refused last year, he may not be so understanding this time around.
The highly-rated young defender was recently on international duty for England at the European Championships. Despite being named in the 23 man squad, however, the centre back did not feature in any of England’s four games during the tournament.
Nonetheless, he currently has ten caps for the Three Lions and is expected to play a big part in their defence going forward.